Job Seekers Enticed Via Facebook, Stripped Naked, Robbed, And Raped
Police officers from the provincial task team and the Tzaneen tracking team have launched a manhunt for a group of criminals who use social media to lure unsuspecting job seekers for non-existent jobs before kidnapping, robbing, and humiliating them in order to extort more money from relatives.
A motorist brought three victims to the Tzaneen police station on Sunday after they allegedly endured a life-threatening and humiliating ordeal at the hands of kidnappers.
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“The three victims, a male person aged 27 and two women aged 21 and 33 respectively, allegedly responded to an advert on Facebook about employment in Tzaneen. The unsuspecting victims boarded taxis from Jane Furse, Groblersdal and Thohoyandou respectively, after they were individually directed by the suspects through WhatsApp to a certain spot in Tzaneen for job opportunities,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo.
The four suspects met the victims at a gas station in Tzaneen and then boarded a taxi heading to Bolobedu with them.
“They then disembarked along the way and took the victims to a secluded bushy area where they allegedly robbed them of their cellphones, money and clothes contained in a bag. They then ordered them to strip naked, took pictures and sent them to the family of one of the victims and demanded money for their release,” Mojapelo said.
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“The suspects then allegedly ordered the male victim to rape one of the women. The victims were found by a motorist along the road hitch-hiking and took them to Tzaneen police station at about 11am.”
Meanwhile, Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe, the provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, has warned community members, particularly job seekers, to “be extra careful when seeking employment and be wary of advertisements on social media platforms.”
The police have opened kidnapping, rape, and robbery investigations. Residents are asked to provide police with any information that could lead to the arrest of suspects.
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