Kenya: DCI's Red Alert to Parents After Spike in Sex Predators Targetting Children Online

Nairobi — If you are a parent or guardian, you will have to take keen interest on what your child[ren] is doing online.

Your good intentions of exposing them to a computer, laptop, iPad or mobile phone with internet may end up exposing them to the danger of sex predators who are preying on minors online, unless you take charge.

Already, the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti has warned of increased cases of offenses against children online, in what ends up with physical meetings for exploitation.

This has taken toll during the COVID-19 pandemic when children are at home and more exposed to the internet due to online studies after the government ordered schools closed for fear of the spread of coronavirus.

"We appeal to parents and guardians to constantly monitor the whereabouts of their children at all times and be wary of the content they access online, since most of it would not only be harmful & detrimental to their lives but could lead to dire consequences such as kidnappings, defilement or even death," DCI Director George Kinoti said in a statement issued on Tuesday to warn parents.

The perpetrators, he said, have taken advantage of the online learning in schools and learning institutions where children are undergoing online classes and other digital learning programs to lure children for exploitation.

Detectives are already investigating four such cases.

"Predators sent children messages in their inboxes complimenting their looks then after gaining their trust, went ahead to ask them for their nude images among other despicable acts," Kinoti said, but did not provide further details on the sex pests.

Last week, a German Thomas Sheller was charged with seven counts for sodomising four teenagers aged between 10 and 13 years in Kisumu and Nairobi.

The prosecution told the court that the offenses were committed between March and May 2020.

The accused is said to have indecently exposed the minors to pornographic material.

Schools in Kenya are closed since March, as part of containment measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus which had killed 71 people and infected 2,093 others by June 2.

In his Madaraka Day speech, President Uhuru Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Health to provide a road-map for a draft calender on phased reopening of schools under COVID-19 protocols.

But the Kenya National Union of Teachers, KNUT has warned that opening schools when the virus curve is still climbing will endanger them.

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