Nearly 30 cases of missing children are reported every day in Kenya as parents fight that their children can go missing without a trace at any time.
These criminals use decoy tactics to persuade children who unknowingly fall into the perpetrator system.
Missing Child Kenya (MCK) executive director Maryana Munyendo said cases of missing children are common in crowded areas, noting that the perpetrators use the element of surprise to craft their plan.
TBEN.co.ke examines places where children are likely to be abducted in Kenya:
TBEN pictured during a protest.
Shopping centers and supermarkets
These areas are prone to the loss of their children by many parents while shopping.
Parents can either be so busy shopping for various items that their child wanders into different sections of the supermarket, creating a chance for perpetrators to strike.
It is not uncommon to hear announcements made by a supermarket on the speaker of a lost child.
Such cases are also common due to the increasing number of people shopping and also being attributed to the meager spaces in the sections of the supermarket, making it an easy target for criminal gangs.
Churches, known to host a huge congregation, are also prone to such incidents. With segments of praise and worship that turn the atmosphere into frenzy as well as the hour of prayer which presents an intimate moment for the faithful to close their eyes and spend some time with their creator.
Parents often don’t realize their children are missing until the summons is over, which can be a bit too late. This has been observed in various cases with parents seeking help from other devotees to help them find their children.
Many families prefer to enjoy a good meal at local eateries and restaurants, especially on weekends. This leads to crowds at these well known restaurants as some also rush to get seats.
Children, if not taken care of, can go astray and, in the spirit of making new friends, become targets of kidnappers.
Matatu bus stations / stages
Matatu scenes and bus stations are known for their recklessness and chaotic surroundings. This presents an opportune time for these kidnappers as children are easily torn away from unsuspecting parents who are busy trying to get into a vehicle.
Another recent case saw a troubled father lose his daughter on August 6 in Nairobi’s central business district. The father believes his daughter has been abducted and is being held against her will. The girl has not yet been found.
Parents are advised to always report suspected abduction cases to a police station as soon as their child goes missing. They should provide vital information about the child, such as a clear and recent photo, the child’s name (including nicknames), the child’s age and gender.
Distinctive signs such as birthmarks and scars could also come in handy for detectives.
Raising awareness in your neighborhood by placing posters and posting on various social media platforms or websites about your missing child could also lead to your child being ultimately found.
DCI boss George Kinoti speaking at a press conference at DCI headquarters on March 5, 2020.