Police Arrest 7 Men Accused of Using Grindr Dating App to Kidnap for Ransom, Wits Student Rescued

Police Arrest 7 Men Accused of Using Grindr Dating App to Kidnap for Ransom, Wits Student Rescued

  • Gauteng police have apprehended seven individuals who were part of a kidnapping ring targeting victims through the Grindr dating app
  • The suspects were caught after kidnapping a Wits student and demanding R30 000 for his release
  • South Africans are happy that the alleged perpetrators have been arrested because citizens have been complaining about the dangers they face

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police have cracked down on a kidnapping ring that allegedly targets individuals using the online dating app Grindr.

Image of seven men arrested for kidnapping
Police rescued a Wits student after he was kidnapped for ransom and lured using the Grindr app. Images: @AthlendaM/X & Leon Neal
Source: Getty Images

Seven people were handcuffed in Denver, Johannesburg on Thursday, 21 September.

Wits students lured on Grindr app

According to Gauteng police spokesperson Athlenda Mathe, the men lured a University of Witswatersrand student and demanded R30 000 from his parents for his release.

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In a short statement on X (formerly Twitter), Mathe said the suspects were linked to 85 other cases where members of the LGBTQIA+ community were targeted for ransom money.

How they were arrested

According to EWN, the 18-year-old student was kidnapped on Tuesday, 19 September. He was reported missing by his roommate on the same day, which launched a police investigation.

The police caught one of the suspects at an ATM while he was trying to withdraw the ransom money.

The suspect led the police to Denver, where the other suspects were found and the victim was being held hostage. The student was bound and unconscious when police found him.

The seven men face charges related to kidnapping and extortion.

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South Africans welcome arrests

@DivineTime2All said:

"This team of investigators are doing an awesome job. I'm glad the student was found. As for online dating, stay away, it's not safe in there!"

@VernonDemos1 said:

"This has been happening on the Grindr app for a long time and it still continues. How can anyone be safe if there are criminals all over?"

@Umeshinzelle said:

"Well done, Gauteng SAPS."

@goolammv said:

"Thank you to @Nhlanhla_Sizani, after you saw social media posts of people complaining about this crime, you made a commitment to arrest the thugs. South Africans salute you."

@BhekiBt said:

"Police are working hard these days."

@literockstar said:

"They should not be released on bail. They’ve terrorised people and have caused too much harm."

Grinder burglar: Man arrested for reportedly stealing from 20 gay men

Briefly News previously reported that a US citizen robbed more than 20 dates he met on a gay dating app and allegedly stabbed one victim in the chest during one robbery, according to federal prosecutors.

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Bheki Cele shocks South Africans by revealing over 7 000 cops have been arrested in past 5 years

J.S. met Derrick Patterson in March on Grinder, the gay dating site, and invited him to his room. According to the FBI, shortly into their meeting, Patterson asked if he could watch videos of intimacy on J.S.'s mobile phone.

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Source: Briefly News

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