Police in Gauteng has arrested four men for allegedly targeting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) community.
The four suspects were apprehended at a Parktown restaurant, according to National Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.
“The men, who have been targeting the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community, would utilise a dating app designed for this community to target and lure victims to secluded places, kidnap and then rob them,” said Mathe.
“On 12th February 2023, a 26-year-old man who had been chatting to one of the suspects was lured to an area where he was hijacked, kidnapped and robbed of his personal belongings, including bank cards. The suspects proceeded to make several purchases with the victim’s bank cards.”
She stated that the incident was later reported to the police. “As soon as the matter was reported to the Mondeor police station, the Anti-Kidnapping Task Team operationalised information and swooped in on the four men who were meeting at the restaurant on the same day of the kidnapping,” said Mathe.
The four were discovered with the victim’s belongings, which included bank cards, a wallet, a bag, and a cellphone.
“33-year-old Thabo Ndlovu, 27-year-old Ndumiso Mahlangu, 27-year-old Sibusiso Tshabalala and 25-year-old Elson Nyati were arrested and have already appeared before the Booysens Magistrate’s Court. Each of them is facing a charge of hijacking, kidnapping and extortion,” said Mathe.
She stated that the victim’s hijacked vehicle, a Mercedes Benz C180, has not been recovered and that police are on the lookout for it.
“The victim was rescued and has since been reunited with his family,” said Mathe.
“All role-players involved in working together with members of the SAPS to take down this syndicate are appreciated, and they are JMPD K9, Gauteng Traffic Police, Tracker Connect and members of the private security industry.”