Nigerian email scam ends in real-life kidnapping
Published January 16, 2012
South African police have rescued a man and his daughter who were kidnapped by a Nigerian gang after the duo flew to Africa to claim their multimillion fortune promised to them in a phony email.
The unnamed victims, a 65-year-old South Korean man and his daughter, in her 30s, flew to Johannesburg last week after receiving an email promising them tens of millions of dollars, the Guardianreported.
The man was told he had to come to Africa to claim the money; when he landed at O.R. Tambo International Airport, he and his daughter were picked up by a driver (who was working for the gang), and dropped off at a house in a Soweto township. The driver managed to escape, but his passengers were not as lucky; they were held hostage for four days.
The kidnappers, five Nigerians and a South African, demanded a $10 million ransom from the kidnapped man's wife in South Korea, which was to be deposited to an account in Singapore, Col. McIntosh Polela of the South African police service told the Guardian. The amount was negotiated down to $120,000.
The man's wife alerted the South Korean embassy in South Africa, and the police raided the home and freed the victims. The man and his daughter returned to Korea without appearing in court.
"They declined to testify because they were traumatized," Polela said. "They were also embarrassed at being lured to South Africa. This is common once victims discover they've been fooled."