At around 4pm on Tuesday, residents of an apartment in Ruaka received distress calls from kin in the houses. The message was clear. There was a police operation at the property and no one seemed to know what it was all about.
After about four hours, skimpily dressed girls, most of them underage were led to the elevator, down the seven floors and into police vehicles. For close to a year, the house was being used as a brothel by the proprietors.
Among the teenage girls rescued yesterday by police was a student who had disappeared from a secondary school two months ago. Investigators have linked the sex den to a group of prominent personalities, one of whom is a former Cabinet Secretary.
Investigations reveal that the girl, a Form Two student at a school in Kiambu, was recruited to the trade by a friend who lured her with the promise of making money.
The girl escaped from school in last month and was led to the apartment where she was promised Ksh. 10,000 every day. Her official job title was masseuse.
Unknown to her, she was taken to the apartment in Ruaka where she was introduced to prostitution. Initially, she received between Ksh. 5,000 and Ksh. 10,000 a day for her services.
However, two weeks later the contract was revised and she received 25 per cent of the payment while 75 per cent was pocketed by the operators.
This was done despite protests from some girls who were opposed to the review of the contract. The recruiters have a bias for light-skinned and slim girls, with their target being secondary schools.
She told the investigators that during her stay in the house, she would entertain close to 10 men a day. At times she visited the homes of her clients for a night of pleasure.
The employer would provide transport using a personal car which also operates as a taxi to ferry her to the client’s place of choice and back to the house.
The employer also provided lots of food and alcoholic drinks of their choice to keep the workers happy at their discreet location.
Nothing about the building indicated the trade that went on inside. Like many other apartments in the area, it represents the ever changing taste of Kenya’s middle class. Well finished exteriors with maroon walls and strips of cream and the ever present ‘To Let’ sign will welcome anyone who wants to get into the premise.
A gold and silver plaque with the property’s name is on the right side of the iron and wood gate. At the main entrance, two arrows placed above one of the elevators servicing the property point one to whatever direction they want to go to. To the left is Block B, to the right is Block A. The ground level has dozens of parking slots. The balconies have hanging lines dotted with children’s clothes and equipment.
Large windows ensure adequate light into the main rooms of the apartments. For this particular apartment though, the curtains were always drawn. As if the occupants had no intention of enjoying the view that their vantage point provided.
And underneath this shine lay the disturbing tale. Here, investigations say, men of all ages walk in at any time of the day and pick a girl of their choice from a parade and pay.
Police officers, who have been investigating the disappearance of children from secondary schools in Kiambu, last Tuesday bust the child prostitution racket in the apartment located on the seventh floor of the nine storey building.
The officers recovered sex toys imported illegally into the country and for use in the sex parties by minors.
When officers attached to Karuri DCI office arrived, they found 10 skimpily dressed girls locked in the house with some in bed with clients.
The investigators, who posed as clients, were informed that another group of 20 girls had been relocated from the house to a brothel in Mombasa.
Police recovered unused condoms and sex toys from the house located about 200 metres from Ruaka shopping Centre.
It is from a vantage position on the seventh floor of this luxury apartments rented for Ksh. 60,000 a month that the former Cabinet minister has been operating the brothel since the beginning of the year.
Police rescued the girls and arrested three suspects including a 44-year-old man believed to be the brothel manager.
Patrons who were found at the brothel were also arrested but later released. Some have been turned into prosecution witnesses against the three suspects charged before the Kiambu magistrate’s court.
They denied seven counts of sexual offences and were released on a Ksh. 1 million cash bail. The prosecution told the court that on diverse dates between October 19 and November 18, the three allowed a minor to remain in their house and be abused sexually.