South Africa: Common Cellphone Tracking Service Used in Ambush and Murder of Top Policeman Kinnear

analysis

Those who plotted the shooting of Anti-Gang Unit Lieutenant-Colonel Charl Kinnear 'used a Location Based Service' to track the detective's cellphone, enabling the triggerman to ambush him outside his home and kill him.

This is the view of John Alexander, an investigator at Royal Investigations, who based his conclusion on information that Kinnear's phone had been tracked since May 2020. Police were able to obtain the Location Based Service (LBS) trace.

Alexander said that SAPS intelligence had the software to conduct an LBS track as would a private individual who had a licence to conduct an LBS search.

So far, it appears that a sophisticated "grabber" or IMSI-catcher was not used to trace Kinnear or other Anti-Gang Unit (AGU) members' cellphones. A grabber would not have left a forensic footprint, unlike an LBS track.

"It is illegal to obtain or have a grabber in your possession. This is a sophisticated piece of equipment which could be valuable to someone who is looking to intercept information and dates," Alexander said.

He explained that LBS tracking worked by providing coordinates in relation to a cellphone tower in relation, in turn, to the location of the user.

"The target would not be aware...

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