Six arrested in S.Africa for S.Korean kidnap scam

5th January 2012, Comments 0 comments

South African police arrested Thursday six people suspected of luring a South Korean man and his daughter to the country with a money-making scam, then kidnapping them for ransom, a spokesman said.

"The 65-year-old father and his daughter, who is in her 30s, apparently responded to an email from the suspects promising tens of millions of dollars. The duo arrived in South Africa from South Korea on Tuesday," said national police spokesman McIntosh Polela in a statement.

Upon their arrival the Koreans were taken to a house in Soweto on the outskirts of Johannesburg and held captive with their taxi driver.

"The suspects demanded a $10-million (7.8-million euro) ransom from the man's wife (who was back in South Korea), to be deposited into an account in Singapore. The amount was eventually negotiated down to $120,000," said Polela.

The driver escaped and alerted police, while the man's wife contacted the South Korean embassy in South Africa.

Police rescued the pair in the early hours of Thursday morning, and arrested five foreigners and a South African. The foreigners' nationalities were not revealed.

Unsuspecting foreigners are often lured to African countries after receiving fraudulent emails promising them large amounts of money. Scammers then either make them pay "transfer" fees, or hold them for ransom.

© 2012 AFP

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