A foreigner facing defilement charges in a Nairobi court had been jailed in his home country on similar charges, with 182 alleged abuse victims coming forward to accuse him, a joint investigation by the Sunday Nation and Nairobi News reveals.
When Hans Vriens Egon Dieter, a Dutch national accused of defiling three Kenyan minors, is put on the dock this April, two persons of interest hope to be present in the courtroom.
Eustacia and her cousin Suzana, both 35 years old (surnames withheld), are currently fundraising and planning to fly from the Netherlands to Nairobi just days to the start of the trial.
In an interview with the Sunday Nation and Nairobi News, the two said they are victims of Hans back in the Netherlands and have taken an interest in the court case he is facing in Kenya.
For Eustacia, it all started in 1990 when Hans courted her mother.
A year later, he allegedly defiled her in their home in Netherlands. She was just seven.
She says she had regarded him as a father since he would show her and her cousin Suzana the love a man should always give to his daughters, even though they had no biological link. Hans is alleged to have extended his heinous act to Suzana, then also aged seven.
This week, the two women said that Hans, who is out on bond for sexual abuse charges in Kenya, forced himself into them and would often insert objects like toothbrushes into their private parts — traumatising acts they have never forgotten 28 years later.
“It started with him peeping at us during the shower and it soon snowballed into terrible abuse. I remember how one day I woke up to the scene of him doing things to me. Because of my age, I thought these things had no importance and I saw no need to raise the alarm about them,” she said of the allegations that would later be reported to Dutch police.
She said that whenever Hans was molesting her, she would “lie stiff, at times unconscious, wondering what was really going on”. She claimed he gave them different drugs that made them weak and sometimes unconscious as he defiled them.
“On many occasions, I could hear and see everything but I could not move my body; he would rape me from the front and behind. At times he even inserted toothbrushes and plastic bananas in me,” she alleged in the interview, saying the abuse, between 1991 and 1994, took place when her mother was away.
The abuse left them scarred and ashamed. She said that whenever their mother was around, the man acted normally and no one could ever suspect that he was sexually abusing them.
He would take them out and shower them with gifts.
“Those were the tactics he employed to mask the evil in him and hide the fact that we were his prey,” said Eustacia. She claimed that Hans also threatened them that if they ever told on him, he would murder their mother.
When Hans was arrested in 1995 in the Netherlands, Eustacia, Suzana and their mother were among 182 children who came forward claiming he had abused them over the years. Eustacia, however, said that even though her case was recorded, the police said they had enough evidence and witnesses against Hans. Besides Eustacia and Suzana, only six of the cases were considered to sustain prosecution.
In November 1995, Hans was sentenced to three years in prison for the abuse. He served just two-and-a-half years.
The victims did not hear of him again until Nairobi News published an article on his arrest in Roysambu and arraignment in court for allegedly defiling Kenyan minors. Police say Hans, 66, had defiled three minors aged eight, nine and 10 years in 2016 and then disappeared. For two years, police looked for him — until his luck ran out.
He was arrested on November 1, 2018, at his one-bedroom house and was presented in court the following day. According to the prosecution led by investigator Paul Aboge, who is attached to the Transnational Organised Crime and Child Protection Unit, the suspect duped the children’s mothers that he would sponsor their education in his “school”.
Interestingly, records indicate that in July 2002, Hans was charged with defiling three minors aged 12, 13 and 15 years at Donholm Estate in Nairobi. He was released on a bond of Sh200,000 but we were unable to obtain details on the determination of the case.
In the latest matter, he was on January 21 released on bail.
Eustacia says this new case has reopened old wounds. “The police always assured us that he was on their radar yet he was already out of the country,” she said. “The same man who abused me, tortured me without minding about my life as a minor, was doing the same things to other children in Kenya; it is unbelievable.”
Dutch Daily newspaper, Telegraaf, recently published the story about two alleged victims, raising questions on why police in the Netherlands failed to flag Hans, a convicted sex offender.
When we contacted the Dutch Embassy in Nairobi on whether they had shared his details with Kenyan authorities, they promised to respond but had not done so by the time of going to press.
“Thank you for the inquiry. Your email has been well received and we will get back to you shortly,” Ms Kirsten Hommes, head of political affairs and spokesperson of the Netherlands embassy in Nairobi, wrote in response to our enquiries.
Eustacia said she and her cousin were fundraising to travel to Kenya and attend the hearing of the case from April.
“We shall be there to assist the Kenyan government with more information about him,” she said.
Court documents reveal that Hans was charged with several counts of sexual abuse in the Netherlands.
In the first count, he was charged with defiling a girl aged 12 and in the second he drugged a minor before defiling her.
The court of Zeeland-West-Brabant in the Netherlands was also in possession of videos and photos that he was taking as he sexually abused the minors. In its ruling dated November 13, 1995, the court noted that Hans was careful when committing the acts since he molested them “when he was sure they were unconscious and drugged”.
However, the court said it was not convinced he threatened the minors in any way. At some point, as the investigations on the matter were going on, Dutch detectives recovered a number of items that assisted in the investigations.
The items included a photo book, a diary, loose pictures, five planners, twee candles, a toy banana, a tube, a toothbrush, a carrot and a hairbrush which police believe were used to molest the victims.
In more revelations that were made to the Netherlands police and presented in court, a man positively identified Hans, saying he was the one who molested his daughter when she attended a pyjama party in 1994.
“The pictures that you have showed me are those of the house the suspect lived in. My daughter attended a pyjama party and I am aware that he abused my daughter. I want him prosecuted,” the unidentified man said.
In another witness testimony, a mother said that it was Hans who defiled her daughter, who was then aged five.
She said that the suspect had spent a night in her house and when she went for shopping, she left the girl behind.
“That is when he raped my daughter and also took nasty photos of her naked,” the woman said.
The woman further said Hans asked the minor to remove her clothes, touch his private parts and do many other things.
It appears the habit of taking photographs and videos is one that Hans has continued with after relocating to Kenya.
A source directed the Sunday Nation and Nairobi News to a YouTube channel associated with the convicted paedophile that has amateur videos of minors dancing and posing suggestively, including in a bedroom.
The images appear to have been taken at his “orphanage” in Kiusyani, Kitui County. Some of the 12 videos of children dancing suggestively have been labelled “orphans’ party”. Incredibly, one of the videos was posted this past Friday.
We have since reported the account to YouTube for having inappropriate content.
It is not clear when Hans relocated to Kenya after his prison sentence in the Netherlands. He is, however, known to have bought land and settled in a remote village near Kiusyani market in Kitui five years ago. He married a local woman in her early 20s.
Neighbours said the couple usually have more than a dozen girls in their residence — with some saying they were house-helps and others indicating they were the “orphans”.
The couple is currently constructing a two-storey house that can be seen a distance away from the Kwa Vonza-Kanyangi Road in Kitui Rural Constituency, dwarfing other buildings around. Those who know the Dutch national well say he has two wives, with one living in Nairobi.
Our enquiries indicated that Hans moved to his Roysambu house in Nairobi, where he currently stays, last August, slightly over two months before he was arrested by Directorate of Criminal Investigations detectives.
Before his current residence, he lived in the same estate but moved houses after rumours went round that he was molesting minors.
It is in that house that Hans was said to receive countless mothers from humble backgrounds who were eager to have their daughters taken to his “orphanage”.
But it took Kenyan police two years to track and arrest him after the alleged defilement of the three girls in 2016 — the subject of the ongoing court case.
During his arrest, many neighbours were shocked to hear that he was suspected of molesting minors. “He rarely speaks; I could only see him each evening carrying a bottle of milk to his house,” said Mr Samuel Karanja, a neighbour.
Contacted by the Sunday Nation and Nairobi News, Hans said he would get back to us through his Kitui-based wife.
“I am innocent and I would like you to speak to my wife based in Kitui as she is in the right position to speak about everything,” he said. Efforts to reach her were, however, unsuccessful.
Additional reporting by Kitavi Mutua