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Alarm in Kisumu as women fall victims to Facebook criminals

By Standard Team | Published Wed, September 6th 2017 at 07:41, Updated September 6th 2017 at 11:40 GMT +3
Asasia Hill in Kwamundhi village, Kisumu County, where at least four women have been raped by new-found Facebook friends. (Photo: Collins Oduor/Standard)

IN SUMMARY

  • At least four women aged between 20 and 28 years have been lured, gang raped and abandoned in the thickets of Asasia Hill, a bushy patch of rock in Kwamudhi village, in the past one month alone
  • Mr Mwakio said the victims were young school leavers desperate for adventure and employment opportunities, which the roaming sex predators used to lure them
  • Villagers who spoke to the victims said they were traumatised and in pain and spoke of being sexually assaulted by people they described as smart-looking young men

 

Police are keeping a close watch on a hill in Kisumu County to where a gang of young men has been luring new female Facebook friends and raping them.

The Standard has learnt that at least four women aged between 20 and 28 years have been lured, gang raped and abandoned in the thickets of Asasia Hill, Kwamudhi village, in the past one month alone.

The picturesque hill 10 kilometres from Kisumu offers a scenic view of the lakeside city, including the international airport.

But it is turning out to be a den of sex predators - thanks to its secluded enviroment.

Kisumu West Sub-County police boss Wilson Mwakio said his men were investigating three cases in which the victims said they met their attackers, described as smart-looking young men, on Facebook before they were lured up the hill and sexually assaulted.

Mr Mwakio said the victims were young school leavers desperate for adventure and employment which the roaming sex predators used to lure them.

"The cases involve people who have been tricked and drugged by their Facebook friends, who they have never met before, and sexually abused," said Mwakio.

Assisting victims

The victims come from as far as Kitengela in Nairobi, Thika in Kiambu and Eldoret in Uasin Gishu. Some come from Kisumu.

A village elder who sought anonymity told The Standard villagers had assisted the victims with clothes after they were left naked on the hill, before helping them to report to the nearest police post.

Villagers who spoke to the victims said they were traumatised and in pain and spoke of being sexually assaulted by people they described as smart-looking young men.

One victim who had travelled from Nairobi told her rescuers she was assaulted by a Facebook friend who had promised her a job.

"We gave her clothes and helped her to Dago Police Post where she recorded a statement," said Jeremiah Ochieng, an intern at the nearby White Hill Villa.

According to Mr Ochieng, the woman said her Facebook friend-turned attacker had promised her a job as a house maid in Kisumu.

"She told us she was desperate for a job and did not hesitate to travel from Nairobi to Kisumu when her Facebook friend said he had a job ready for her," said Ochieng.

On reaching Kisumu at 7pm, the victim was picked up by a man who put her in a tuk tuk taxi. He later handed her to two other men who said they were taking her to her employer as she was to start working immediately.

Across hills

"She told us that on reaching Otonglo, the men told her that the home where she was meant to work was located across the hills connecting Otonglo and Nyahera, and that they had to go up the hill to reach it," said Ochieng.

Uphill, the men, including her Facebook friend, drew crude weapons and threatened to kill her if she raised the alarm. They raped her and left her lying naked on the cold rock.

Another resident, James Oguma, said the gang appeared to target victims for sexual assault because they told the villagers that nothing was stolen from them.

The villagers want a police post established on the hill to secure it.

"There have been many cases of kidnappings and rapes on this hill," said one resident.

The Standard team tried to reach one of the victims by phone but she said she did not want to talk about her painful ordeal.

No arrests have been made so far but Mwakio said his team was following crucial leads. However, he said the incidents should act as a warning against trusting strangers met through social media.

The incidents comes weeks after a Nairobi woman was strangled on her first date with a man she met on Facebook.


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