Gauteng MEC for Community Safety, Faith Mazibuko, has called on the public to be wary of cybercriminals targeting unsuspecting individuals on various social media platforms.
“The public must be aware of cybercriminals, who target unsuspecting individuals on various social media platforms with the purpose of causing harm, demanding ransoms and scamming,” the MEC said on Thursday.
This follows the kidnapping of a University of the Witwatersrand student on Tuesday in Johannesburg.
The student was reported missing by his roommate on Tuesday in Johannesburg.
According to reports, the student was lured to the suspects through the dating site, Grindr. The suspects demanded an amount of R30 000 from the student’s family for his safe return.
A team comprising members from Gauteng Crime Intelligence, Organised Crime Investigations, Hillbrow Detectives, Johannesburg Trio Detectives, Johannesburg Metro Police K9, security companies - including Vision Tactical, JT VIP, CAP Security, Fidelity Strategic Team - and Cellular Data Investigation, operationalised the information that led them to an ATM, where one of the suspects was expected to withdraw the ransom money on the M2 Road.
The police held an observation and 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.
Seven suspects were arrested, while three knives and the student’s personal items were also recovered. The Provincial Commissioner of the South African Police Service in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, has commended the swift response by a multi-disciplinary team for the rescue.
The MEC commended the rescue team for their efforts.
“I would like to commend the heroic law enforcement officials, who carried out the rescue operation. The successful apprehension of the suspects is a result of collaborative efforts by various law enforcement agencies and private security companies,” said MEC Mazibuko. – SAnews.gov.za