A trial has started in the Democratic Republic of Congo involving 27 people who have been accused of involvement in the kidnapping of people travelling in taxis in the capital, Kinshasa.
Among the accused are four police officers, six young women who allegedly lured the victims and 17 others.
Some of the victims were robbed and released, whereas others were held without consent for days until a ransom was paid.
There are at least 30,000 registered taxis in Kinshasa – which is Africa’s third largest metropolitan city after Cairo and Lagos.
It is commonplace for Kinshasa residents to feel afraid when taking taxis.
It is also a particular cause for concern for the authorities, who are gearing up for the city to host the Francophone Games – a competition featuring sports and arts from French-speaking countries around the world.
The games start on 28 July.