Blackmail gangs target gay Kenyans

GALCK are asking for gay men who have been victims of blackmail cartels to tell their stories and find out the hidden cost of being gay in Kenya

Blackmail gangs target gay Kenyans
07 June 2012

A criminal gang is using dating sites and Facebook to meet closeted LGBT people in Kenya, who they then blackmail.

A crime cartel operating from the Thika Road, which links the capital, Nairobi to Thika Town, is targeting gay or bisexual men who are in relationships with women or with families, men who would be the most unlikely to report these crimes to the authorities.

The Kenyan police are investigating this situation after receiving reports about a ring of criminals made up of both men and women who pretend to be gay and use social networking sites like Facebook and gay dating sites, including Gaydar, ManJam and GayRomeo to find their prey.

Once they lure them in, gang members get the men in a comporomising or sexual position and then others enter the room and take photos to blackmail them.

Gay campaigners in Kenya claim the victims have been forced to hand over money, bank cards and PIN numbers.

Tracking the gang down is proving problematic as they frequently change the location from which they operate.

The Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK) issued a statement about the escalating incidents of gay blackmail in the country. Over 10 incidents have been reported to them in recent months, but wherever the exact location the experience of the victims has been the same.

GALCK’s legal officer, Anthony Olouch said: ‘Blackmail and extortion is illegal in Kenya and LGBTI people should not hesitate to report such cases. A blackmail case shall be treated as such regardless of the circumstances that landed you in the hand of the blackmailers.’

GALCK say blackmailing and extortion are the two most common crimes afflicting the gay community in Kenya today. They have been the first point of contact for many of the victims of these crimes, helping them report the incidents to the police.

Sex between men is illegal in Kenya and can carry a penalty of up to 14 years. Because these crimes often go unreported to the authorities, GALCK are asking for those who have experienced such blackmail to tell their stories in confidence. They hope to compile a report to reveal how much gay people are being forced to pay to keep their secret.
 

HAVE YOUR SAY

MORE TOP STORIES

No thumbnail available

Judge in court-martial of gay US Army soldier reaches a decision

Col. Denise Lind, the presiding judge Col. Denise Lind, the presiding judge in the trial gay Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, will announce her ruling on 30 July
No thumbnail available

Gays OK in UK Boy Scouts

GSN loves that UK Boy Scouts told gay youth 'it gets better... today' one year ago
No thumbnail available

Russia passes gay gag bill, will become law

State Duma passes 'homosexual propaganda' law unanimously fining people and organizations for so called 'gay propaganda' with foreigners jailed and deported
No thumbnail available

Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich resigns as company apologizes for not taking action sooner

Co-founder could not overcome controversy over his donation to  Prop 8 anti-gay marriage referendum
No thumbnail available

Mars defends Maltesers advert: It doesn’t turn people gay or ridicule male closeness

A long-running TV commercial has prompted complaints after a recent airing in Australia: some viewers felt it could turn people gay, while others felt that it was mocking man-on-man affection
No thumbnail available

French footballer accused of paying for sex with iPhone, injuring trans person

Ousmane Dramé allegedly tried to pay for sex with an iPhone, stealing her purse, and pedalling away on a bicycle in Italy
No thumbnail available

Chuck Norris says U.S. government engaged in war on religion

 Chuck Norris blasts Hillary Clinton pro-LGBT U.N. speech and makes other anti-gay claims in column
No thumbnail available

UK group campaigning on LGBTI world issues wins major battle

‘The promotion and protection of human rights has been upheld and the criminalization of gay men and lesbians has been recognized for what it is, a grave human rights violation'
No thumbnail available

Federal judge brings statewide clarity to confusing gay marriage situation in Alabama

Probate judges must issue licenses to same-sex couples but ruling on hold until US Supreme Court rules on pending marriage cases
Why is Germany one of the last remaining holdouts on same-sex marriage in Europe?

Why is Germany one of the last remaining holdouts on same-sex marriage in Europe?

Stefanie Gerdes despairs of her native country’s refusal to engage with the same-sex marriage debate