How girls from Murang'a were lured into Mtwapa porn syndicate

Part of Mtwapa town in Kilifi County.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

When four girls from a village in Murang’a County got a job offer in Mombasa last week, they were elated that earnings made would unchain them from the shackles of poverty that had bedeviled their families.

According to an affidavit produced before a Shanzu Court , they had  been promised sales and marketing jobs in the port city.

But they were instead recruited to an online platform for prostitution and exploitation through a live streaming website.

The court heard the girls had been locked inside an apartment in Mtwapa area for the illicit business.

Detectives from the Anti-Human Trafficking Police Unit have now launched a man-hunt for a woman believed to be prime suspect in the syndicate.

The woman, who is on the run catered for the victims’ travel expenses.

Preliminary investigations reveal that upon reaching the house, the victims were given a desktop mounted with a camera and ordered to start live streaming of their nudes.

On Wednesday evening, two suspects apprehended in connection to the trafficking and harbouring of the four victims were arraigned in court for involvement in the criminal act.

Charles Wambua alias Chalie and Emily Wanjiru Muthee are now being treated as the main suspects behind facilitating the trafficking of the victims from Murang’a and accommodating them in Mtwapa.

The suspects faced two offenses of trafficking in person and conspiracy to commit a felony.

The first charge indicates that jointly with another suspect still at large, the suspects conspired to commit a felony namely trafficking in person by receiving or harbouring the four victims.

In the second count, the suspects are charged that on diverse dates between June 6 and 9, they received or harboured the four victims by means of deception for the purpose of exploiting them.

They, however, denied the charges before Shanzu Senior Resident Magistrate David Odhiambo.

State counsel Ogega Bosibori told the court that the state will amend the charge sheet after receiving a report of the forensic analysis being conducted from the items recovered from the suspects.

“We pray that this case be given a special hearing. The victims have been kept in a safe house. Their families had filed a report of missing persons before they were found,” said the prosecutor.

The victims are said to have escaped from the Mtwapa apartment and found their way to Makupa police station where they narrated to the police how they were picked from Murang’a for the sales and marketing jobs but were locked inside a house for online streaming of nudes.

Police ransacked the house and recovered seven computers, cameras and other items.

The report of the five missing girls had been recorded at Maragua police station vide OB 38/11/6/2022.

A police brief seen by the Nation indicates that one of the girls had attempted suicide after escaping from the house in Mtwapa.

“The victim was traced to a rented room while attempting to swallow rat and rat poison due to the stigma and trauma she went through at the hands of human sex traffickers,” said the police brief.

The two suspects have been released on a Sh500, 000 bond each with one surety of a similar amount.

The case will be heard on July 1.

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