Because “drip is eternal”, a teenage boy faked his own kidnapping and demanded ransom money from his family to buy new clothes.
The 14-year-old Form Three student from Tharaka Nithi County staged the abduction on Tuesday, January 5, as he returned back to school.
On arrival in Nkubu town, the teenager chose a quiet spot and called his brother informing him that two bodaboda riders were holding him hostage inside Mount Kenya Forest. He said the supposed abductors were demanding Sh20,000 ransom to release him, failure to which, they would kill him.
Shocked by the information, the brother reported the matter at Tunyai Police Post, prompting county criminal Investigations Officer Betty Chepngeno to spring into action in search of the boy.
After an unsuccessful day’s search, the officer sought reinforcement from the regional headquarters and later from Nairob. The search ended Saturday midday when the boy was found on the streets of Nkubu town.
Ms Chepngeno said they suspected foul play and sent the boy Sh1,500 on M-Pesa through his brother. Unaware that it was a trap, the boy transferred the money to his M-Shwari account and then withdrew Sh1,400 that he used to buy a pair of jeans.
“We were able to locate the boy after he withdrew Sh1,400 from an M-Pesa agent,” the officer said.
Upon interrogation, the boy admitted to plotting his abduction to get money for new clothes. He said he has been envying his friends who have nice clothes.
The boy explained that he spent the first night in a lodging and paid Sh300. On the second and third night, he sought accommodation from unknown people and spent the fourth night in a house under construction.
Police in consultation with the Meru School principal and his parents agreed that the boy should not be charged in court but be counselled and taken to school.
“I have agreed with the boy that my office will buy him all the clothes and shoes that he wanted to buy so that he can look good like his friends and concentrate on his education,” Me Chepngeno said.