‘I’d been set up’: the LGBTQ Kenyans ‘catfished’ for money via dating apps.


One day after work last month, Tom Otieno went to a shopping centre in Nairobi to pick up groceries before heading home. He got a call from someone he had been chatting to for a week on Grindr, a social networking app for gay, bi, trans and queer people. The man had already tried ringing several times during the day while Otieno was with colleagues and was keen to meet. Otieno, 29, mentioned where he was but said that he did not want to see the man. Then, as he was heading to his car, he got another call. As he answered it, someone approached him and said they were a police officer. Seconds later, two other officers joined him and surrounded Otieno. “One of them had this envelope,” he says. “He was getting papers out of the envelope and looking at them and then at me. I saw it was a chat [from Grindr] and I saw my face on it. I knew I had been set up.”

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