Police have arrested four suspects in Ruaka estate in Kiambu for allegedly using online dating sites to lure men who are then kidnapped, tortured and robbed.
Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) on Sunday evening arrested the four namely Bernard Mbunga, Fredrick Mutiso Mutua, Catherine Mumbi Kivuva and Kelvin Nzioki in connection with the robberies.
A police statement said a Turkish national was rescued from a house that the detectives had raided within Ruaka estate.
“At least three men were lured to a home in mid-June under the guise of socialising with an attractive woman. When they arrived, a woman met them in the driveway and escorted them inside. The victims were then robbed, ‘viciously tortured’ and beaten,” police said.
Police added that Catherine was the bait on an online dating site. When men honour an invite to “her” house, they were held against their will, beaten, kicked and pistol-whipped throughout the night.
“The suspects threatened to harm the victims’ families if they didn’t cooperate before forcing them into their cars, driving to various ATMs before forcing them to withdraw money from various bank accounts,” police added.
The victims are later dumped on deserted roads. Lang’ata detectives, who have been pursuing the suspects, arrested one at the Ruaka Cooperative Bank ATM booth and found him with the Turkish national’s ATM cards and PINs ready for transactions.
He had also withdrawn some cash through the victim's M-Pesa.
Escaped through a perimeter wall
After the arrest, police established that the first suspect, identified as Mbunga, was wanted having escaped through a perimeter wall in an earlier incident where an Indian national was robbed in a similar manner in Imara Daima estate.
He is believed to have recruited the new team that was arrested last Sunday.
During the operation, police recovered a Cooperative Bank PDQ machine and several mobile phones.
The rescued victim was taken to hospital for medical attention.
Last month, DCI arrested and later arraigned in court two people suspected of kidnapping and robbing the man.
The two, Mary Mukii Kioko and Gideon, allegedly lured Naraj Devraj, and robbed him Sh108,000.
Devraj was kidnapped in Nairobi West, robbed and later dumped near Sameer Business Park along Mombasa Road, having been lured by Ms Kioko to her house, police said.
Devraj said he was visiting his female friend’s house in Nairobi West. He claims that after failing to meet the friend, he hailed a taxi, but two men forcefully boarded the same vehicle and sandwiched him.
He claimed his attackers had blindfolded and ordered him to call his son and boss to send them ransom to secure his release.
The kidnappers thereafter demanded his ATM PINs but Devraj was reluctant to reveal the same. That is when they took him to a house where he was stripped naked.
A semi-nude woman forcefully embraced him as their pictures were taken by the suspects who threatened to leak them if he failed to give them his ATM PIN.
Detectives said they recovered six mobile phones, a PDQ machine and an agent book from a local commercial bank and assorted ATM cards, among other items.
Last week, police warned Kenyans and foreigners to be wary of online dating sites.