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Kidnappers now want Sh50m

By | March 22nd 2011 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

By Cyrus Ombati

Abductors of a four year-old boy have now increased their ransom demand.

The boy’s family yesterday said a caller on night demanded that they surrender Sh50 million.

The kidnapers have earlier asked for Sh4 million ransom before they release him.

Police were yesterday pursuing good leads that they expected to bear fruits anytime last night.

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"Officers are on the ground since the weekend and we hope for a breakthrough anytime," said police spokesman Eric Kiraithe.

Detectives from Special Crimes Prevention Unit and Flying squad were yesterday combing city estates in Southlands area in search of the boy

Meanwhile, it has since been established the boy is not a pupil at Brookhouse School as we had earlier reported. The mix-up was from police reports, but yesterday detectives clarified that although the incident happened on Brookside Drive, the boy is not a pupil at the school.

The boy was kidnapped on Thursday as he was being driven home from school in Muthaiga area in the city and his whereabouts since then remain unknown. According to police, the boy was being driven in a white saloon car from school in Westlands on Thursday afternoon when gunmen blocked the driver and later took control of the vehicle. The gunmen later dumped the driver near Village Market and drove off with the boy on board.

Police investigating the case said the car was later found abandoned near Wilson Airport.

On Saturday, the suspected kidnappers made a demand to the boy’s father, who is a businessman based in the city.

An officer said the kidnappers seemed to be changing their positions hence making it difficult for them to locate them and that "some issues were emerging".

General lull

Police said the incident was the latest to happen in the past months, which had experienced a general lull in the crime. Abductions had been on the decrease after police cracked 12 kidnap rings in which suspects had evaded arrest since 2009.

At least 10 suspected kidnappers have been shot dead, 20 others arrested, and 10 are still at large since the crackdown began last year. Last year 65 abductions were reported to police compared to 84 in 2009.

Kidnappers ransom police spokesman Eric Kiraithe
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