THE LOVE Island villa is in the midst of a “rampant” gang war after a security boss was shot dead.
Producers had to switch location to Cape Town, South Africa for the winter version of the show in order to guarantee some January sun.
However, Cape Town is the world’s 11th deadliest city according to its murder rate and has been riddled with crime – with the murder of Extreme Security Measures owner Tim Lotter rocking locals on Sunday evening.
The attack has been linked to the battle to gain control of nightclub security, in addition to the drug trade and prostitution.
Onlookers have said that they heard what sounded like a “machine gun”, with Lotter losing his life after being shot multiple times.
The Sexy Boys gang has been linked to the attack, with a source telling IOL: “Prior to his death Lotter was allegedly linked to the nightclub security controlled by the Sexy Boys and other underworld figures.
“It is alleged he jumped ship and joined forces with rivals in the underworld and when the Sexy Boys got wind of it, decided to take him out.
“His move to rival underworld figures would have resulted in huge financial losses to the Sexy Boys.”
The shooting is just the latest in an endless stream of brutal murders in the capital – with The Conservation previously reporting that “rampant violence and crime” has become so bad the South African government have sent in the army to try and help.
The use of the country’s military is being viewed as a last resort, with the country’s police force unable to protect its citizens.
At the weekend, it was reported that the new Love Island villa will be patrolled by armed guards amid fears the stars could be kidnapped.
A show insider told the Star: “Producers arent taking any chances. Its been arranged for armed guards to patrol the compound throughout the series.
“They will have them surrounding the area so there is no chance of any breaches…
“If its known to everyone in the area that a big TV show is in town, then it will become a target. There are concerns there could be kidnap attempts if things arent done carefully.”
An ITV spokesperson added to The Sun Online: “The safety and security of our Islanders and crew are of the utmost importance.”
Cape Town last year saw 69 murders for every 100,000 people according to a government body, the South African Cities Network.
The murder rate has increased by 60 per cent in 2009-10, making it South Africa’s deadliest city.
Love Island returns to our screens this Sunday, 12th January, with 12 hopefuls confirmed to be entering the villa announced last night.
Laura Whitmore will also be making her debut as the show’s host, replacing Caroline Flack who has been charged with assault amid claims she attacked her boyfriend Lewis Burton with a lamp.