The Tourist Police (Politur) receives complaints from tourists who come to the Dominican Republic to seek relationships with people they meet on the gay dating app Grindr, but end up being robbed, robbed, extorted and even beaten.
General Minoru Matsunaga, director of Politur, and Colonel Carlos Mancebo Núñez, director of Intelligence, explained how criminal networks operate and how to avoid attacks.
Through the application designed for dating between homosexual and bisexual men, citizens of other countries meet Dominicans with whom they trade a sexual relationship in exchange for money or just for pleasure.
Once on Dominican soil, the foreigner leaves his lodging area and travels in his own means of transport or one sent by the offender to the agreed place, which is usually another hotel.
Once in the place, the tourist is exposed to several dangerous situations. In some cases, he discovers that the profile of the person with whom he had spoken was false and, instead, he meets a criminal who strips him of all his belongings.
In other cases, the sexual relationship does take place, but the service provider takes advantage of an oversight to rob his companion.
Colonel Carlos Mancebo Núñez says that Politur has witnessed brawls due to tourist dissatisfaction with the service provided and the compulsive collection exercised by the Dominican. There have even been damages to the property of the hotel, which becomes a civil actor to claim repairs.
“They rob them of cash, cell phones; one or two people have been attacked because they have resisted dispossession, others run away, disoriented and others are constrained from making any complaint so that the service they were looking for is not made known, ”adds the officer.
Another modality of which Politur has been aware consists of “sextorsion” or sexual extortion.
“When you expose part of your body, the scammer threatens to publish the images and demands blackmail payment,” explains Colonel Mancebo.
Several issues make it difficult to prosecute this type of crime. The first thing is that tourists have to return to their country, so they have little time to continue the judicial process. But the biggest obstacle is the fear of it being known that this type of service was sought for personal reasons.
It is also impossible to obtain the IP address of Grindr users so that it is not possible to identify who the connection was from.
The recommendation of the director of Politur is simply that “in no country where they are as tourists they are playing with this”, because they would be dealing with a stranger who could use the identity of another person.
In early July, Frederick Pérez, 32, was murdered after a contact made through Grindr.
According to the spokesman for the National Police, Diego Pesquera, the detainees are: Jesús Rodríguez Evangelista alias “Mono Plata” and Argenis Morillo de los Santos who, together with a 16-year-old minor, murdered the young man and stole his vehicle.
Also detained are Christofer Arredondo “el Prota” and Reynaldo García “Denyer” who negotiated the victim’s vehicle.
Frederik Pérez traveled in a gray Honda LX car, in which Mono Plata and El Rubito along with the minor, whose name is omitted for legal reasons, after contacting him through the social network, and was murdered him and his body released in a dump.
Then, realizing the search from the authorities, they abandoned the vehicle in the Cotuí municipality, Sánchez Ramírez province, according to the Police.
Frederik worked in the Youth Department of the Dominican Municipal League (LMD). His body was found with several stab wounds.