Model, 19, Kidnapped By Uber Gang Who Raped Women And Pilfered Their Bank Accounts

A 19-year-old influencer and model with nearly 100,000 followers on Instagram has told how she was kidnapped by a gang of Uber drivers who sexually assaulted her and emptied her bank accounts.

Influencer Giovanna Pacheco, 19, poses in an undated photo. Giovanna was kidnapped by a gang of app car drivers on Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023. (@gioopd/Newsflash)

The criminal also allegedly raped other women and were only detained after a shootout with the police on 13th March.

Influencer Giovanna Pacheco Dantas, 19, was kidnapped by the gang of Uber drivers in Sao Paulo, in Brazil, on Thursday, 2nd March.

Her ordeal with them lasted for hours and she told local media how they slapped her bottom and made death threats, putting a black cloth over her head and forcing her to give them passwords to her phone.

She said that they then proceeded to empty her bank accounts and send messages to her friends and family using her phone.

Local media said that the gang typically targeted upmarket neighbourhoods and that it all started when she booked an Uber in the Vila Guilherme neighbourhood, north of Sao Paulo, on 2nd March.

Giovanna said: “This happened on the 2nd at 4:20 am, I got into a car via the app and 10 minutes went by and the car stopped, two men got in. It looks like they were already following us, from what I saw after on the security cameras.

“They got into the car asking for my cell phone and my purse, they took my passwords, access my bank accounts and cell phone gallery. They took everything and then started sending messages to my friends and family.”

Influencer Giovanna Pacheco, 19, talks in undated footage. Giovanna was kidnapped by a gang of app car drivers on Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023. (@gioopd/Newsflash)

She also said that they also said: “It would be a shame if she died because she is very cute”.

The young woman, a model and influencer with over 93,200 followers on Instagram, added: “They hit my bottom and sent my personal photos to their devices. They kept looking at my photos and calling me a hottie, for me it was abuse.”

She was eventually let go by the gang but suffered a panic attack. Since her ordeal, she said that she has managed to recover the money they stole from her – BRL 10,000 (GBP 1,571) – after contacting her bank.

Giovanna said that she has since had to change address and that the ordeal has left her traumatised and afraid.

The suspects, after the kidnapping, created fake accounts on Instagram and Whatsapp with Giovanna’s photo, in addition to threatening the young woman so that she would not go to the police, according to local media.

The gang are finally arrested by the Specialised Centre for the Repression of Crimes and Miscellaneous Occurrences (Cerco) of the 4th Sectional Police Station of the North Zone of Sao Paulo on Monday.

There was reportedly a shootout between the police and the sum of the gang members, but there were no injuries and the suspects were taken into custody.

Influencer Giovanna Pacheco, 19, poses in an undated photo. Giovanna was kidnapped by a gang of app car drivers on Thursday, Mar. 2, 2023. (@gioopd/Newsflash)

The police have said that there are seven other open cases that all took place this year and involve the suspects.

Local media have said that some of the women who were the victims in these cases were also raped and sexually assaulted.

The fake drivers were reportedly registered on multiple apps, with app cab company inDriver Brasil, in a statement, reportedly said that it deeply regretted what had happened and said that, as soon as it became aware of the facts, it permanently blocked those involved who had registered on their platform.

In a note, Uber reportedly said that it regretted that women who only sought to move around were the target of criminal acts perpetrated by malicious individuals.

Uber said that it has a specialised team, made up of former police officers, who are always available to the authorities and that it is collaborating with the police in their investigations.

The investigations are ongoing.