Man arrested after family paid R15,000 in ransom for fake kidnapping

The suspect is being detained at Philippi East police station. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

The suspect is being detained at Philippi East police station. File Picture: Independent Newspapers

Published Jan 11, 2024

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A 25-year-old man is expected to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court in Cape Town on Friday after he alegedly staged his own kidnapping.

The man was reportedly snatched on January 2, and led his family to believe he had been captured and a ransom was demanded.

Western Cape police spokesperson, Captain Frederick van Wyk said members of the Western Cape multidisciplinary Kidnapping Task Team arrested the suspect.

“On Tuesday, January 2, a foreign national man reported his brother as kidnapped after receiving a message from an anonymous telephone number,” Van Wyk said.

“According to reports at approximately 5.30am the complainant left his residence at David Venda Street, Betterlife in Philippi East to go to work, leaving his brother who was supposed to go and deposit rent money at Shoprite for the premises they reside at.”

The brother’s phone was off and was switched on at about 6pm when he found a message that indicated his brother had been kidnapped.

The man told police a ransom demand of between R4,000 and R5,000 was demanded for his brother’s safe return.

The kidnappers also allegedly said they took the money and cell phone of the man held captive and they were in the Khayelitsha area.

“Later during the day, the complainant's wife also received a message from a different number, saying she must deposit the requested amount to this said number,” said Van Wyk.

“Reports reveal that the brother never returned home on January 2, and the ransom demand amount was increased to R15,000.”

By January 9, the kidnapped man’s family decided to pay the R15,000 ransom.

Van Wyk said the family made the payment via e-wallet.

“On January 10, the afternoon, the captive came back home and admitted that he and his friend staged the kidnapping as they wanted to extort money from his family. He further stated that he used the rent money for gambling,” Van Wyk said.

The man is currently being detained at Philippi East police station.

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