LAHORE, Pakistan (AFP) – Pakistani authorities on Saturday busted a gang using a female member to lure youngsters through Facebook and telephone calls and then kidnapping them for ransom, police said.
The gang, which included a lawyer, his wife, the son of a policeman and four others, was active in the industrial town of Gujranwala in central Punjab province and was traced by tracking phone calls.
"This gang of friends was using their female member to trap youngsters on Facebook and through phone calls," Shoaib Khurram, a senior police official, told AFP.
"The girl was assigned to trap targeted young boys in fake love on Facebook and phone and then invite them for dates," he said, adding that the other members would kidnap the boys when they came to meet her.
"So far, we have got verification about two boys who were trapped in fake love of this lady and were then kidnapped by this gang. Their families later paid ransom amounts worth millions of rupees to get them free," he said.
Pakistan earlier this month cracked down on "immoral" love chat services offered by mobile phone companies, stifling hopes of illicit romance in the conservative Muslim country, where dating is frowned upon.
In 2010, Pakistan shut down Facebook for nearly two weeks over blasphemy and continues to restrict hundreds of online links.