Seven suspects are behind bars after the kidnapping of a student from the University of the Witwatersrand earlier this week.
Brig. Brenda Muridili, police spokesperson, says the student’s roommate reported him missing on Tuesday after he was apparently lured to a location by the dating app Grindr. The suspects demanded R30 000 from his family for his safe return.
A team from the Gauteng crime intelligence unit, organized crime investigators, police detectives, members of the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police’s dog unit, the security companies Vision Tactical, JT VIP, Fidelity Strategic and Cellular Data Investigation followed up on information they sent to an ATM near the M2 led where one of the suspects was expected to withdraw the money for the ransom.
“The police watched the place and arrested the suspect upon his arrival there. He then led them to the Denver men’s dormitory where the 18-year-old suspect was found tied up and unconscious,” says Muridili.
Another six suspects were arrested and the victim was rushed to a hospital for medical treatment.
“The team is currently investigating the possibility that the suspects can be connected to similar cases in Gauteng.”
The seven are charged with kidnapping and extortion and will appear in court soon.
Faith Mazibuko, MEC for community safety in Gauteng, praised the multidisciplinary team for their successful collaboration.
“People should be aware of cybercriminals who target unsuspecting people on various social media platforms to harm them, demand ransoms and defraud them,” says Mazibuko.