Fake kidnapping goes viral

17 November 2021 | Crime

A social media post alleging that two boys were kidnapped and later found at a “house of horrors” were debunked as fake news.

Inspector Ileni Shapumba, the unit commander for community affairs in the Erongo region, stated that the police had not received or attended to any report of this nature at any of the police stations in Swakopmund or Walvis Bay. He discouraged the public from sharing unverified information after the social media post claiming that two children were kidnapped, and found in a “house of horrors” in Kuisebmond, began circulating.

The post which initially appeared on Facebook in Afrikaans and subsequently went viral in various groups on WhatsApp, stated that two five-year-olds were allegedly abducted from Mondesa on Friday. According to the post author, one of the children was that of her domestic worker. “In a strange confluence of circumstances of a woman who happened to see two boys getting into a bus, taxi drivers who spotted the vehicle on a road and another woman who happened to hear a conversation and also saw the boys, led to the police being able to raid a house of horrors in Kuisebmond on Saturday and the boys and at least twenty other children were found”, it reads.

Shapumba said that the police are not investigating any case involving children that were abducted or kidnapped, nor have they arrested any person in relation to this matter in Walvis Bay or Mondesa over the past weekend. “Kidnapping and abduction of children is a serious matter. We will be transparent in sharing the information with the public.” Shapumba discouraged people from creating and distributing information of crime related incidence which are not verified with the police. “We are busy trying with tracing the source of this information. People should stop circulating this information further as it is causing panic among the communities.”

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