Detectives from the Child Protection Unit in Mombasa have launched a manhunt for members of a criminal gang linked to a series of sexual violence against young boys.
The existence of the ring was discovered following the arrest of four people, who are being held for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old boy.
Three of the four suspects were charged with several sexual assault charges on Thursday.
Mr Omari Mwalimu, Mr Sulow Jimale and Mr Colling Godeka are accused of separately assaulting the minor on different occasions.
Court documents show the suspects sexually assaulted the boy between 2017 and 2022.
Mr Mwalimu is alleged to have sexually assaulted the boy in 2017 and 2022, while Mr Jimale and Mr Godeka committed the offences between February and April this year.
Police allege that Mr Mwalimu molested the boy in Mtongwe in 2017 when the boy was 12 and repeated the offence in January this year.
And in April this year in Sega, Mvita, Mr Jimale lured the minor and molested him. Mr Godeka is accused of committing a similar offence between February and July this year in Likoni.
The suspects denied the offences before Mombasa Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku.
In an affidavit to oppose bond for the suspects, Mr Victor Odera from Child Protection Unit in Mombasa, told the court that investigations were underway to identify and arrest more suspects.
The officer told the court that the suspects were likely to interfere with investigations as more suspects were being sought in connection with the crime.
“It is a ring of several people who are being arrested, the latest one being Raymond Mwaura, who is currently … in custody. We are in the process of tracing and arresting other perpetrators to be charged alongside the accused persons already charged before this court,” said the officer.
Mr Odera also said that the victim was under threat and wanted him placed under witness protection.
The investigator also said preliminary investigations had revealed Mr Jimale did not have a relative and a fixed place of abode.
“The crime scene is a house rented by unknown persons and was being accessed by numerous people. He is, therefore, a flight risk. His accomplices are also a flight risk because their place of residence is not known,” said the officer.
The officer also said in his affidavit that investigators had not received medical reports and data from devices obtained from the suspects.
“We are afraid that the accused persons, if released on bail, may tamper with the victim and the witnesses,” said Mr Odera.
Lawyer Lawrence Obonyo told the court that he will be representing the interests of the boy.