Kenyan Police are on the hunt for suspected Pirates following the murder of a British tourist and the kidnapping of his wife, in a gang raid on an exclusive beach resort called the Kiwayu Safari Village in Kenya, dangerously close to the border with Somalia.
A finance director of publishing house Faber & Faber, David Tebbutt (58 years of age) from Bishop's Stortford was tragically shot dead in cold blood, as he attempted to resist the gang aggressors. His wife (26 years of age), Judith Tebbutt was forcibly rushed away in a motor boat.
Both British security officials and local Kenyan police immediately initiated a far reaching search for Judith Tebbutt following up from reports that she was captured by members of Harakat al Shabab al Mujahideen (an extremist group based in Somalia). The search involved a combination of Helicopters, Speedboats and a spotter plane, which was carried up to the border limits, however no sign of the gang of raiders or their hostage has so far been reported.
The unfortunate couple arrived to their exclusive resort on the 10th of September (Saturday afternoon) after visiting the Masai Mara reserve. It sound ominous, as they were actually the only guests at the resort when the gang forced their way in sometime after midnight.
The regional commissioner Matthew Iteere was reported to comment that "The man was killed when he resisted,". "His wife was kidnapped and we are carrying out a search and rescue mission. So far we don't know the motive. We are treating it just as a bandit attack. But since we are reliably informed that they abducted that lady, sooner or later they may contact us, maybe seeking ransom."
Brian Thorp, 77, a missionary, was murdered on the nearby island of Lamu in 2008, while Somalis raiding across the border kidnapped two nuns in 2008 and three aid workers in 2009.
Kiwayu is about 30 miles (48km) from the border, and piracy experts said that if the raiders had escaped in a skiff they would have been back in Somali waters by daybreak.
Kiwayu Safari Village is approximately 50km from the Somali frontier. Guests are charged up to $350 USD per person per night and the resort is operated by a European couple (British man and his Italian wife).
Interestingly the resort's own website http://www.kiwayu.com/ previously claimed to take "security and safety very seriously." The website once featured these words, "We have our own organic security protocols as well as a professional security structure which provides us with overarching security and safety 24 hours a day." The website has now been taken off the Internet and if visitors click to the domain the following message appears “Sorry the website is unavailable due to the tragic events. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected family.”
The kidnapping of wealthy Westerners for high ransoms is a well established tactic by Somali Pirates, which has been constantly on the increase in the region (land and sea) in the past decade. Recently a Spanish warship patrolling the area rescued a French woman, who was taken from her Yacht in the Gulf of Aden just 2 days prior to this event. A man who was aboard the Yacht is still missing and presumed dead by many. Moreover, a Danish family seized in February 2011, were eventually freed just last week, after an ransom airdrop of an estimated $3 million.
Most of the Pirates trade is actually focused out to sea in the area of the Gulf of Aden stretching right down to the Seychelles. Click on this link to see the region: Somali Pirates region. For regular updates on Somali Pirates go to Off Radar Maritime Security.
Our advice to all Perpetual Traveler's is to steer completely clear of the entire region (land or sea). The Pirates are venturing further and further afield and developing new tactics all of the time. It is simply not worth the risKatjato the average person to Holiday, Sail or Cruise in the area.