Members from the ring pose as gay on social-networking sites and invite married men out on dates. The goal is to get compromising pictures to use as blackmail, but if a victim can’t be coerced into a sexual encounter, he may be raped.
One man claims he was told to pay 65,000 Kenyan shillings ($755) or his wife and friends would see explicit photos.
Extortion is one of the biggest problems facing Kenya’s LGBT community, claims Anthony Olouch of the Gay and Lesbian Coalition of Kenya (GALCK). Homosexual relations are illegal in Kenya but Olouch says victims can come forward without fear of reprisal: “A blackmail case shall be treated as such regardless of the circumstances that landed you in the hand of the blackmailers.”
We want to believe that, really. But day after day of reporting on all the atrocities committed by homophobic thugs wearing badges or judge’s robes has made us uncertain.