Alleged gang boss ‘kidnapped’ by Colombian cartels

Peter Jaggers was kidnapped in Gauteng. pic received.

Peter Jaggers was kidnapped in Gauteng. pic received.

Published Jul 8, 2024


Cape Town - A R50 million ransom is being demanded for the return of an alleged gang boss who was apparently kidnapped by a Colombian drug cartel last week after travelling to Gauteng.

The missing man, Peter Jaggers, allegedly has links to a vessel from which six supposed fishermen were rescued after it ran into trouble off Cape Point. Apparently the boat ran out of fuel. Among the group rescued were one of his relatives, whose name is being withheld for safety reasons.

According to an internal police report shared with Cape Argus, Jaggers, 43, was at Cape Town International Airport on Wednesday and had apparently travelled to OR Tambo International Airport where he had allegedly been picked up by foreign nationals.

It is believed the kidnapping took place at the Emperors Palace Hotel in Kempton Park, not far from OR Tambo International.

It is further alleged that Jagger’s wife and relatives, whose names are being withheld, were sent a voice message including a photograph of him from the kidnappers demanding the return of “something which belonged to them”.

A voice note which has been circulating on social media was sent to Jaggers’ family demanding a R50m ransom.

“Hey we no play, we no play, your husband is on his way to South America, you guys have 24 hours to return the stuff, or we will come after your families you know,” the man on the other side said, speaking in a South American accent.

“We are not playing. “Colombia, Colombia (he then speaks in another language).

“We cartel we do not forgive you, hey don’t forget, time is running, you got 24 hours to give me my stuff back.”

The Cape Argus also approached one of the men who had survived the incident at sea but he refused to comment on the allegation.

Police spokesperson Joseph Swaartbooi said the case was registered at the Bishop Lavis police station on Friday.

“The complainant made an affidavit to a policeman.

“In her statement, she mentioned that her husband Peter Jaggers left the house on June 30, and that on July 3, at 5pm, he travelled to Cape Town International Airport.

“He was apparently picked up by the foreigners from Bulgaria/Serbia. He never returned home according to his wife,” said Swaartbooi.

Willem Els of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said the modus operandi had the hallmarks of the Colombian drug cartels where ransoms are demanded during a kidnapping or relatives are taken to secure the return of their illicit missing merchandise.

He added that South American underworld figures already had made inroads into Africa, South Africa and the Western Cape.

Els made reference to the 2021 case of the vessel at Saldanha Harbour where R58m worth of cocaine was found.

Three Bulgarian men were sentenced to 60 years’ imprisonment and their assets worth R46.5m were forfeited to the state.

“The Western Cape has been a hotbed for the gangs and we must also understand that South Africa is known as the Southern route,” said Els.

“From the East, Afghanistan where the traditional routes to Europe, America, they started to police those routes so good that they had to look for alternative routes in order to ship the heroin.

“It is the same with cocaine, from Cape and Brazil to the Far East to Australia and other countries.

“We became a hub for the international cartels and they make use of the South African partners, that help them and what happens is that we can assume in this case, we do not know, if it was a deal gone bad.

“If you look at Mexico and Colombia, that is exactly how these cartels operate.

“If you short change them or if they suspect that you are not honest with them, they will do that.

“If you can remember a few years ago, a ski boat was found with almost a ton of cocaine there,” said Els.

Swaartbooi added: “Kindly be advised that the circumstances surrounding this incident are still under investigation. We can confirm that a case of kidnapping was registered at Bishop Lavis SAPS on Friday for further investigation. The docket will be transferred to the SAPS office where the incident occurred.”