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Job seekers lured on Facebook, stripped naked, robbed and forced to have sex

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The group of robbers ordered the three job seekers to strip naked, took pictures of them and sent them to the family of one of the victims and demanded money for their release.

File Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

POLICE officers from the Limpopo provincial task team and Tzaneen tracking team have launched a manhunt for a group of criminals using social media to lure unsuspecting job seekers for non-existing employment and then kidnapping them, robbing them and “humiliating them to extort more money from relatives”.

Three victims were brought to the Tzaneen police station by a motorist on Sunday, after they allegedly suffered a life-threatening and humiliating ordeal at the hands of kidnappers.

“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.

Four suspects were waiting for the victims at a filling station in Tzaneen, and they thereafter boarded a taxi towards Bolobedu with the victims.

“They then disembarked along the way and took the victims to a secluded bushy area where they 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.

“The suspects then 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.”

The police have opened cases of kidnapping, rape and robbery.

Limpopo provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembi Hadebe warned community members to be “extra careful when seeking employment and to be wary of advertisements on social media platforms”.

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