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Wits University Student Kidnapped After Grindr Interaction; Ransom Set at R30 000

Wits University Student Kidnapped After Grindr Interaction Ransom Set at R30 000

An unsettling incident has come to light as an 18-year-old student from Wits University is currently recuperating in a hospital. The young man’s ordeal began after engaging in conversations on the popular dating app, Grindr, which subsequently led to his kidnapping and a ransom demand of R30 000.

Immediate Report of Disappearance

The student’s absence was promptly noticed and reported on the very day of the incident by his roommate. Details have emerged indicating that the student was enticed by individuals on Grindr, leading to his unfortunate abduction. The kidnappers then reached out to his family, demanding a ransom of R30 000 for his safe return.

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Collaborative Police Operation Leads to Arrest

On 20 September 2023, a collaborative effort involving various security and law enforcement agencies was initiated. This team, which included members from Gauteng Crime Intelligence, Organised Crime Investigations, Hillbrow Detectives, Johannesburg Trio Detectives, Johannesburg Metro Police K9, and several security companies such as Vision Tactical, JT VIP, CAP Security, Fidelity Strategic Team, and Cellular Data Investigation, acted on crucial information.

This intelligence led them to an ATM on the M2 Road, where they anticipated one of the suspects would attempt to withdraw the ransom money. The police discreetly observed the area and, upon the suspect’s arrival, swiftly apprehended him. This arrest subsequently led them to Denver Men’s Hostel, where they discovered the kidnapped student, bound and in an unconscious state.

“The police held an observation and then placed the suspect under arrest as soon as he arrived. He then led the team to Denver Men’s Hostel where the victim aged 18, was found bound and unconscious,” relayed police spokesperson Brigadier Brenda Muridili.

Further Arrests and Investigations

Following the initial arrest, six other suspects were taken into custody. The victim was immediately transported to a hospital to receive necessary medical care. During the operation, three knives and several of the student’s personal belongings were recovered.

The authorities are now delving deeper, probing the possibility of these suspects being linked to other similar incidents in the Gauteng region.

“The team is currently investigating the possibility of linking these suspects to cases in Gauteng with the same modus operandi. All seven will be charged with kidnapping and extortion and they will be appearing before court soon,” added Muridili.

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