Cape Town – A wealthy Cape Town businessman was kidnapped in the city on Monday morning.
Yusuf Abramjee, South Africa's unofficial crime-fighter in chief, posted on Twitter that the victim was allegedly the successful and charitable Noor Mohammed Karriem, the owner of Giant Hyper in Epping, also known as Giant Cash & Carry.
Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said: "The circumstances surrounding a kidnapping case are being investigated after a 64-year-old businessman was forcefully removed from his business in Epping this morning at around 10:45 by unknown men.
"The finer aspects of the case cannot be disclosed at this stage."
It's still unclear at this stage whether his kidnappers have made any ransom demands.
Abramjee earlier posted on Twitter: "A Cape Town businessman was kidnapped this morning. Three months ago, a businessman was taken in Bedfordview JHB.
"And before that a Durban businesswoman was kidnapped. All are still missing."
Community crime-fighter Hanif Loonat, who has been closely involved with the investigations, told the Daily Voice on Tuesday police should be speaking to businessmen who have been kidnapped.
"I am very disappointed that the previous victims are not prepared to come to the party and give information," he said.
"They are sitting with the answers, they know why they were targeted and who is behind it."
Kidnapping wealthy businessman is seemingly a profitable business for criminal syndicates. Cape Town has seen a number of kidnappings in recent years.
In July last year, Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker, 65, was allegedly kidnapped by five unknown and armed men at his business in N1 City, Parow.
He was returned to his family in September, with then Community Safety MEC Dan Plato saying at the time the 65-year-old’s release was the result of “large sums of extortion money” being paid by the family.
The public relations consultant hired by the Parker family‚ Kaz Henderson‚ denied that a ransom was paid. Parker is a founding member of the Food Property Group‚ which owns the Foodworld chain of supermarkets.
Noor Mohammed Karriem of Giant Cash & Carry has reportedly been kidnapped in Cape Town.— Yusuf Abramjee (@Abramjee) September 23, 2019
He is also a board member of Al Amien Foods and a non-executive director of Brimstone Investment Corporation.
It was alleged kidnappers had demanded 50 bitcoin, a global cryptocurrency, which was about R4.3m at the time.
On July 25, 2017, three armed men kidnapped Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed, who owns Zhauns Business Opportunity Machines in Woodstock. He was eventually released at the end of August.
Bangladeshi businessman Mustapha Goolam, from Lotus River, was kidnapped from Food Town in December 2016 and a ransom was set at R11m.
A badly beaten Goolam was found in Khayelitsha two days later. Five people, including a police reservist, were arrested.
A wealthy Cape Town businessman, Naushad Deshmukh Khan, 46, was also kidnapped in October 2016.
The Athlone businessman was found in Thornton at the end of December and had to receive medical attention, police said.
Deshmukh was allegedly snatched outside his clothing business, Khan's in Hadji Ebrahim Crescent, by a group of armed people who bundled him into a delivery vehicle.