The South African Police Services (SAPS) have made a breakthrough in an alleged kidnapping syndicate that targets Portuguese businessmen.
National police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said nine suspects were arrested on Monday, including a policeman.
“The syndicate is alleged to be involved in at least five kidnapping cases where Portuguese businessmen were targeted,” said Mathe.
She said following the kidnapping they would demand ransom payments from the victim’s families.
In the latest kidnapping incident, police said a Portuguese businessman who was kidnapped outside his business premises in Bramley on Monday evening, was rescued and reunited with his family.
“The 53-year-old businessman was found safe and unharmed by the SAPS National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team at a house in Kempton Park on Tuesday afternoon,” said Mathe.
She said the Anti-Kidnapping Task Team pounced on the address where the businessman had been kept in Kempton Park and arrested four men and a woman.
“At another identified address in Hillbrow, two women and a man were also arrested.”
She said a 41-year-old police officer was also among those arrested.
“He was arrested at his place of work. A total of nine suspects have so far been arrested,” concluded Mathe.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola said while the organisation was disappointed by the arrest of one of its own members, it was pleasing to note that the SAPS was ridding itself of corrupt elements.
“No member of the SAPS is above the law, irrespective of their rank,” said Masemola.
“Police officers who are found on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with accordingly. We will continue to root out rogue police officers from within our ranks.”
Police said the task team had arrested 70 suspects allegedly linked to kidnapping in Gauteng alone, since April.