Cape Town business owner's family still in shock after kidnapping
Noor Karriem, 64, the owner of Giant Hyper in Epping, was reportedly dragged from his car and forced into an unknown vehicle just before 11am on Monday outside Sweets For Africa in Christian Avenue, Epping.
Police spokesperson Andrè Traut said: “The circumstances of a kidnapping case are being investigated after a 64-year-old businessman was forcefully removed from his business in Epping on Monday morning at around 10.45am by unknown assailants.
"The finer aspects of the case cannot be disclosed at this stage.”
Karriem’s brother-in-law, Bashier Moydien, said his sons, who live out of town, were expected to arrive in the city today. Moydien said once the family had discussed the matter, they would make a media statement.
Karriem’s brother, who declined to give his name and who answered the shop’s phone yesterday, said: “We are still shocked and traumatised by what happened, but I am not the person you should be speaking to.
"I am not the person to speak to about this, I have no comment.”
Community crime-fighter Hanif Loonat, who has been closely involved with the investigations, told the Daily Voice 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."
Sources close to Karriem's family say his kidnappers are demanding R20 million for his release and that he feared being kidnapped like his close friend Liyaqat Parker.
In July last year, board member of Al-Amien Foods and a non- executive director of Bristone Investment Corporation, Parker, 65, was kidnapped by five unknown and armed men at his business in N1 City, Parow. He was returned to his family in September.
In July 2017, Zhauns Business Opportunity Machines in Woodstock owner Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was kidnapped by three armed men.
He was eventually released at the end of August that year.
Bangladeshi businessman Mustapha Goolam, from Lotus River, was kidnapped from Food Town in December 2016 and a ransom was reportedly set at R11million.
Goolam was found in Khayelitsha, severely beaten and traumatised, two days later.
Gift of the Givers founder Imtiaz Sooliman, who until a few months ago assisted the family of South African journalist Shiraaz Mohamed who was kidnapped in Syria in 2017, said yesterday: “It’s difficult to comment as we are not sure what’s happening behind the scenes with the cases.
“Are those who are released giving details to the police, or do they prefer not to speak? Only the police would be able to comment on that.”
Anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee said the spate of kidnappings was “very worrying”.
“Police have not made any major breakthroughs in any of the major kidnappings we have seen over recent years. These organised syndicates are cashing in millions of rand. The modus operandi in most seem to be the same,” Abramjee said.
Giant Hyper supplies bulk buyers and shop owners, as well as retail customers.
According to its website, the business has grown rapidly over the years, with an extensive retail offering through the introduction of household goods and basic foods.
The Cape Times reported exclusively on information from a highly placed police source that a criminal syndicate headquartered in Maputo, Mozambique, was behind the kidnappings of Parker and Ahmed.
The alleged mastermind of the syndicate, Momade Assife Abdul Satar, who goes by the name of “Nini”, is believed to have recruits in Cape Town who carry out kidnappings.
Nini was arrested in Thailand in July last year in accordance with an international arrest warrant, with sources at the time saying he was due to be extradited from Thailand to Mozambique, and then to Cape Town.
In July this year, Nini was sentenced to a one-year prison term for forging a passport. The sentence has since been commuted to a fine.