The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as Hawks) in the Eastern Cape has arrested a fourth suspect in a kidnapping who is alleged to be the mastermind.
The 27-year-old suspect was arrested by the Hawks’ Kidnapping Task Team in Kariega during an intelligence operation on Sunday, February 4.
The Eastern Cape has seen a spate of kidnappings in recent months.
The provincial spokesperson for the Hawks, Captain Yolisa Mgolodela said the co-accused have already made their court appearances.
“The additional suspect is allegedly the mastermind in this kidnapping incident. His accomplices, Sinethemba Dyantyi, 31, Vuyolwethu Kotsele, 34, and Mazen Nassar, 23, have since been arrested and appeared before Cookhouse Magistrate’s Court on November 10, for allegations of kidnapping,” Mgolodela said.
“The trio were arrested by the Kidnapping Task Team of the Hawks under Serious Organised Crime Investigation along with Cookhouse South African Police Service's (SAPS) Visible Policing on November 9.”
She said on November 9, it is alleged the kidnapping victim was travelling with his brother to Shoprite Usave in Bhongweni Location in Cookhouse when they were blocked by an unknown BMW sedan on the road.
The suspects got out from their vehicle and allegedly forced the victim into the BMW.
At the time of the incident, the victim was a passenger in his brother’s car. The victim’s brother managed to get away and report the incident at the nearest police station.
“The police were activated and pursued in the direction that the suspects were reported to have taken. The police spotted the identified vehicle on the N10 and a chase ensued. The police managed to block the suspect’s vehicle,” Mgolodela said.
“After that, the vehicle was searched and the victim was found inside the vehicle. Two 9mm pistols and three cell phones were recovered during the vehicle search and were seized for further investigation. The BMW that was used during the kidnapping of the victim was also seized.”
The trio have been remanded in custody and their next court appearance is March 27.
The court has ordered this date to be the last remand for formal bail application.
The latest suspect is expected to appear in the Cookhouse Magistrate’s Court on February 7.