As cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in the country, most parents have resorted to online learning for their children. This came after President Uhuru gave a directive to shut down all learning institutions to curb the pandemic's spread.
However, parents have now been warned of an ongoing trend where perpetrators are using online learning to exploit children.
On Tuesday, June 2, the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) said there were four reported cases of perpetrators luring kids online and exploiting them.
"The perpetrators of these offences have taken advantage of the online learning in schools and learning institutions where children are undergoing zoom classes and other digital learning programs to lure children for exploitation," stated the DCI.
In the four reported cases, DCI says the perpetrators send direct messages to children and compliment them on their looks. After gaining their trust, the perpetrators then ask for nude photos among 'other despicable acts.'
The DCI has called upon Kenyans to report such offences against kids through the Child Protection Unit by using a toll-free line 116 or report any incident to the nearest police station.
Parents who have faced such incidents were also urged to come forward and give out information on the perpetrators to enable the DCI to catch them.
"We appeal to the affected parents not to withhold such information but urge them to where possible furnish our officers with details of the perpetrators such as the user names, phone numbers, email and social media accounts that have been in contact with their children," urged the DCI.
The DCI further appealed to parents and guardians to always monitor what content their children access when using the internet.
"Most of what they access online would not only be harmful and detrimental to their lives but could lead to dire consequences such as kidnappings, defilement, or even death, "warned the DCI.