Late Wednesday afternoon, Georgia State student Sarah Bharwani claimed to have been approached by two women on campus who are allegedly part of a kidnapping ring.
Bharwani posted that she was recently made aware by a friend from Kennesaw State University of a “fake ‘church community’ where an Asian and African American woman are going around campuses asking people if they want to go to Bible study at night in a room.” According to her post, the two women collect numbers and send out reminders for students to come to a designated location where they kidnap them.
Bharwani told The Signal she tried to avoid conversation with the two women as much as she could and didn’t get a good look. However, she recalled the Asian woman had glasses. She said her friend who goes to KSU had warned her about a similar incident on their campus last night.
Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) Chief Joseph Spillane said they have received information from students who claimed they’ve been approached by the two women. Officers, alongside the Crime Suppression Unit, have been sent around campus to see if they can spot the two women.
“We do have officers looking to see if they can spot the two women,” Spillane told The Signal. “They may be affiliated with a religious group,” he said, but at this point the department is unsure.
Spillane said GSUPD has received a picture of what might be the women in question, and are looking into it.
Jacqueline Gomez, another Georgia State student, said the story sounded familiar. Gomez was approached last week, on Jan. 24, by an Asian woman claiming to be a member of a Christian club and invited the student to a meeting that same night. Gomez walked away, yet recognized that same woman later on from a friend’s picture, which includes both of the women by the steps of Library Plaza.
Yesterday, the University of Mississippi’s newspaper The Daily Mississippian reported on a similar incident around their campus. According to the article, a religious group originating from South Korea had been recruiting students on campus into human trafficking. After looking into student allegations, the university’s police department affirmed that the church, known as “World Mission Society Church of God” was, according to the statement, “a legitimate church looking to expand to our area.”
The university lies in the heart of Oxford, a city which saw a case of human trafficking last year after a victim was transported from Atlanta to Mississippi for commercial sex purposes. Two people were convicted at the time.
Check back for more updates. Last updated Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018 at 4:10 p.m.