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Police: Most victims of drugging in Kenya don't report cases

By Standard Team | June 27th 2016

NAIROBI: When a businessman went to Gigiri Police Station in January 2015 to report his gun and cash had been stolen by a woman he had met earlier, police knew he had been ensnared.

He went to report after waking up from a long slumber and finding his gun with 10 bullets, Sh200,000 and a Samsung Duo cellphone missing. He suspected he had been drugged. The weapon was later recovered in Kibera days later.

Police said the businessman, a civilian firearm holder, met the woman at a restaurant and they agreed to go to his residence. They took some drinks before they retired to bed. The man woke up the following day at 11am and the woman had left.

Police say such incidents happen on a regular basis. National Police spokesman George Kinoti says most of the reported cases happen in social joints. “Some victims do not report out of embarrassment.”

Kinoti said suspects usually learn and mark their targets before taking steps. They create a rapport before moving to spike their drinks or at times use special fumes.

“They cant do it to people they do not know. It happens to those studied. The problem is most victims cannot even identify those behind the incidents but we have taken a number of cases to court and charged them,” he added.

Nail culprits

However, it is not also easy to nail culprits as victims rarely give full disclosure to enable police arrest the criminals, including commercial sex workers to conmen.

Mombasa OCPD Lucas Ogara says most victims rarely report the cases because they feel they are to blame for their misfortunes. 

“They would record statements with police over stolen items but never talk about the circumstances under which they were drugged and robbed.Most cases happen in social joints and the drug is put in alcohol,” said Ogara. 

Research by a local lobby shows 10 to 20 people are drugged in entertainment joints in Nairobi and Kiambu every weekend.

Pubs and Restaurants Association of Kenya acting CEO Mercy Thiong’o said the figures only reflect official complaints. “Many cases go unreported,” she said.

Kiambu Level Four hospital Medical Officer Hassan Warda says they receive at least 10 cases on weekends and during holidays.

Mary Ann Njoki, a waitress at joint in Kiambu town, says spiking of drinks happens from midnight when revellers are already tipsy or drunk.

Kiambu Deputy OCPD Johnstone Lyambile says cases of three women have been arrested in Kahawa West and Kiambu over claims of drugging revellers are still pending in court.

— Report by Cyrus Ombati, Mwangi Muraguri, Fidelis Kabunyi and Ishaq Jumbe

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