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DCI warns of online child porn gang sharing lewd images of minors

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) has warned of a gang that has been sharing obscene pictures and videos suspected to be of minors on online platforms.

The warning comes after pictures purporting to be of the seven teenage girls who had gone missing for several days started appearing online.

The DCI said in a statement that legal action will be taken against people sharing inappropriate pictures of underage children.

“The attention of the DCI has been drawn to inappropriate photos and videos of minors being circulated on social media alleged to have been shot by a group of minors who had attended a house party,” said the DCI on its twitter page.

Adding, “It is unfortunate that such individuals are doing so not only in contravention of the law, but also ignoring the negative impact of their actions to the lives of the said minors. We wish to remind those circulating such photos and/or videos that such acts are punishable by law,” read a statement from the DCI.

On Friday, three missing teenagers were rescued by officers in Nairobi after missing for days but did not reveal details of where the girls were found or if any arrests had been made.

The three told police they had seen a social media account that invited them to “parties” in the city.

On Sunday, 44 school going children were arrested alongside their host in Nairobi’s Mountain View Estate and various brands of alcohol and bhang seized in the raid.

DCI identified the host as 41-year-old Millicent Kithinji.

DCI further revealed that the teens found in Ms Kithinji’s house were 26 boys and 18 girls aged between 14 and 17 years and who are primary and secondary school learners.

The children told police they were from Nairobi, Kiambu and Machakos counties with police linking the disappearances to an online group known as Carty-gang-ent which is under investigation.

Ms Kithinji will be detained by police for a week as investigation is concluded over the house party involving the 44 teens and alleged child trafficking.

In Kenya, the Cybercrimes Act supports the Childrens Act of 2001 and Sexual Offence Act of 2005, which do not entirely insulate the Kenyan child from predators, as such cases are still prevalent.

Anyone found guilty of an offence of child pornography, and upon conviction, will be liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than six years or to a fine of not less than five hundred thousand shillings or both.

Subsequent conviction will attract imprisonment to a term of not less than seven years without the option of a fine.

The sleuths also told parents to take a keen interest in their children’s activities at home and on social media networks.

“As the investigations go on, we wish to issue a stern warning to individuals taking advantage of the Covid-19 pandemic to prey on school girls who are at home, especially through the social media networks, that their days are numbered,” the statement added.