Police in Johannesburg arrest 7 over kidnap of gay university student


JOHANNESBURG – Seven people have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping a gay university student in South Africa by luring him to a meeting through the dating app Grindr.

The 18-year-old undergraduate at the University of Witwatersrand was reported missing by his roommate on Tuesday.

Police said the kidnappers then demanded a ransom of around US$1,500 from his family, according to the BBC

The gang was caught when one of the suspects attempted to withdraw the ransom money from a cash machine in Johannesburg.

He led the police to where the victim had been held captive – officers finding him bound and unconscious.

Read More: South Africa says inquiry finds no evidence of arms shipment to Russia

The suspects have been linked to at least 85 cases where members of the LGBTQ community have been targeted for ransom.

South Africa has one of the most liberal constitutions in the world which protects gay rights – and is the only African country where same-sex marriage is allowed, but many gay and lesbian people still face hostility and discrimination.

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