Kidnapped Portuguese businessman found in Soweto, alleged kidnap syndicate member arrested

The suspect alleged to be linked to a kidnapping syndicate was arrested. Picture: SAPS

The suspect alleged to be linked to a kidnapping syndicate was arrested. Picture: SAPS

Published Jul 3, 2024


Police in Gauteng have rescued the latest kidnapping victim, a Portuguese businessman who was snatched from his business premises in Florida on Monday, June 24.

National police spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said in the last six months, 12 businessmen and six students who had been kidnapped for ransom have been rescued by a multidisciplinary team led by the police’s Anti-Kidnapping Task Team.

Mathe said the businessman was rescued a week after he was snatched.

“The SAPS Anti-Kidnapping Task Team including other law enforcement agencies and private security have been working around the clock to find the businessman, safe and unharmed. The man was kidnapped from his business premises in Florida on June 24. On Monday evening, July 1, 2024, the team traced the victim to a home in Snake Park, Soweto, where he had been in captivity,” she said.

Mathe said one of the captors of the businessman was arrested the same evening in Turffontein in Johannesburg.

“The 39-year-old suspect is believed to belong to a syndicate that is responsible for at least four other kidnappings where businessmen were the target in the Johannesburg district.

“The team is currently tracing suspects who were working together with the man,” Mathe said.

She further explained in cases where businessmen and students had been rescued, no ransom payment was made as a direct result of the expertise and capabilities of SAPS detectives, the Crime Intelligence Unit, and the collaboration with private security.

From January 2024 to date, 49 kidnappers who had demanded ransom payment from families of victims have been arrested in Gauteng, North West, and the Free State.

Twenty-one vehicles used in the commission of these crimes have been confiscated and eight firearms have also been seized.

“The SAPS is confident that by working together with all stakeholders and community tip-offs, it will continue to take down more syndicates believed to be behind a spate of kidnappings for ransom across the country,” Mathe said.