Dad who took justice into his own hands after his daughter was raped and murdered in Africa says he has uncovered suspect by getting a sex worker to infiltrate a crime gang
- Melbourne woman Elly Warren, 20, was murdered and possibly raped in Africa
- She had been on a diving and volunteering program in Mozambique in 2016
- Her father, Paul Warren, has been investigating Elly’s death independently
- He had a sex worker infiltrate a crime gang to investigate the gang’s leader
- Mr Warren believes the gang leader is a prime suspect in Elly’s murder
A heartbroken father claims to have identified a suspect in his daughter’s murder after convincing a sex worker to infiltrate a crime gang.
Melbourne woman Elly Warren, 20, was on a diving and volunteering program in the village of Tofo in Mozambique when she was murdered and possibly raped in 2016.
Her father, Paul Warren, ran the covert investigation between August and September after claiming local authorities bungled the case.
Mr Warren believes he has found the gang leader responsible for murdering Elly and called on homicide detectives in Mozambique to follow up the search.
Elly Warren (pictured), 20, from Melbourne was on a diving and volunteering program in the village of Tofo in Mozambique when she was murdered and possibly raped in 2016
Elly’s father Paul Warren (pictured together) launched his own investigation into his daughter’s death after believing the case was bungled by local authorities
Mr Warren believes he has uncovered the gang leader responsible for murdering Elly (pictured above) and called on homicide detectives in Mozambique to follow up his search
‘He’s a bad man and is well-known and feared around Tofo. The locals think he can get away with anything because he pays off the police,’ he told The Australian.
‘What we know for sure is that he runs a prostitution ring, deals cocaine and is notorious for drugging tourists and robbing them.’
The father-of-three has spent at least $50,000 and made two trips to Tofo over the last four years investigating Elly’s death.
Last year he announced a $25,000 reward for information about her murder before his plans for more visits were curbed by the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Warren received a tip-off from ‘a very concerned South African mother’ in March and she warned him of a man who ‘spikes tourists’ drinks and steals from them’.
He then discussed the information with a German private investigator who had offered to work on the investigation into Elly’s death pro bono.
The pair spent a few months planning an undercover surveillance mission and put the plan into action in August after local authorities had still not made any arrests.
‘I felt I had no other choice but to run this operation… So we organised a prostitute to move to Tofo and befriend this gang leader over time to find out what we could about him and how he operates,’ Mr Warren said.
Mr Warren received a tip-off about a man in Tofo who ‘spikes tourists’ drinks and steals from them’ in March. He shared the information with a private investigator (Elly pictured)
They launched a four-week-long undercover operation in August and a sex worker infiltrated the gang and obtained recordings of the gang leader (Elly pictured above)
He explained the operation ran for about four weeks, ending when the sex worker began to fear for her life, and identified the crime boss as a key person of interest.
The sex worker obtained a number of covert recordings of the gang leader, who could be heard boasting about his criminal exploits and threatening a young woman.
Mr Warren now believes his daughter may have fallen victim to a bungled robbery attempt by the gang and been accidentally killed after she tried to resist.
He said they could have dumped her body, which was found by the side of a toilet block, because they knew the police would try to cover-up the rape and murder of a foreign tourist.
Mr Warren explained he had handed over a full brief of intelligence on the gang leader to consular officials in the Australian embassy in Pretoria, South Africa.
Mr Warren believes the gang leader is a prime suspect in his daughter Elly’s murder
He submitted the findings to local and Australian authorities in Africa (Elly pictured above)
The father-of-three also said he was rebuked by the Australian Federal Police because of the investigation in September.
A letter from an AFP officer warned Mr Warren ‘you could potentially jeopardise the ongoing efforts that continue to be pursued by Australian authorities’.
The AFP said it is still engaged with Mozambique authorities through its South Africa bureau and discussed the matter with them on September 21.
Mr Warren included the email in a 71-page submission to the Coroners Court of Victoria as part of a request for an Australian inquest into Elly’s death.
A directions hearing is listed for December 17.
Daily Mail Australia has contacted the AFP for comment.
Mr Warren has requested an Australia inquest into Elly’s (pictured above) death