Heterosexuals are not saved from extortion mafias in shopping mall bathrooms

Heterosexuals are not saved from extortion mafias in shopping mall bathrooms

On Saturday, February 11, two subjects were arrested, members of a mafia dedicated to extortion that operated in the bathrooms of the Metrocenter Shopping Center. Although the selection of its victims points to the Lgbti community, heterosexual people are not spared. The lawyer Richelle Briceño comments to SuchWhich that in the last three years it has learned of cases in which these networks, which identify themselves as state security officials, accuse young people of having illegal substances and “being vulnerable and without witnesses” agree to pay for vaccines

The mafias that they extort users of the male bathrooms in shopping centers, with the modus operandi of identifying themselves as State security officials, have not limited themselves to putting pressure on people from the Lgbtqi community, but rather the organized activists —who managed to dismantle the one operating in the Metrocenter Shopping Center— have registered reports of heterosexual men, at least three cases in the last three years, says the lawyer Richelle Briceno to SuchWhich.

Briceño recalls that these gangs have been operating in these places for years and mentions that cases have been reported in the El Recreo Shopping Center, located in the Libertado municipality of the Capital District, and El Sambil, in the Chacao municipality of Miranda state. In the latter, in October 2022, a network that applied the same modus operandi was dismantled.

Briceño details that the members of these gangs, since their sexual insinuations were not reciprocated, They accused the young people of being “smoking marijuana” in the bathrooms or of possessing some illicit substance, Therefore, “being in a situation of vulnerability and without witnesses, the victims agreed to extortion.”

Two subjects were detained on February 11 at the Metrocenter Shopping Center, located in downtown Caracas. One of them was identified as Ricardo José Vásquez. Up to the time this note was published, there were no indications that they really are active security officials or if they ever were.

Both citizens were brought before the courts and were detained, he informed SuchWhich attorney Richelle Briceño.

* Also read: “They stripped me naked and threatened me”: extortion mafias operate in shopping mall bathrooms

In the afternoon of Friday, February 10, in one of the Metrocenter bathrooms, members of these mafias intimidated a group of three young people that they found in the place. One of the victims, whose identity is being withheld for fear of retaliation, entered the bathroom to brush her teeth when she was accosted by an unknown subject who made sexual advances to her.

According to the story, the young man, after asking the stranger to leave because he does not like men, was accused of “committing lewd acts in a bathroom and being a fraudster.” The alleged officials asked for his ID and personal information such as his address and, later, they approached his colleagues who were waiting for him outside the bathroom.

«The alleged official says a code, 30-16, and two other alleged officials approach and ask us if we were with him. We told them yes and they tell us that we are detained,” said one of the aggrieved.

The three young people were taken against their will to the emergency stairs of the shopping center. The citizen who was intimidated in the bathroom, who lives in Guárico and arrived days before in Caracas for personal paperwork, was told that he was wanted and that he had committed “lewd acts” in a public bathroom.

The extortionist gang asked the group of young people for $1,000 to free them, but they denied having this amount of money.

After several minutes handcuffed and threatened, the group of young people was released, once the gang snatched $70 from their belongings. One of the three young men denounced. “My cousin who came from Guárico did not do it because he does not want problems.”

The status of the complaint is not known at this time.

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