File photo

Johannesburg - A massive manhunt was launched for a woman who claimed she had been kidnapped and held for ransom - but she was found a day later walking in the street.

The 26-year-old woman went missing earlier this week in Durban. Her mother received an SMS saying her daughter had been kidnapped by men and that they wanted R3 000 for her to be released.

The mother laid a charge of kidnapping at a police station in Ladysmith.

Crime intelligence heard about the case, and crime-fighting organisation eBlockwatch was contacted and asked to help track down the woman.

eBlockwatch founder Andre Snyman said they picked up that the woman’s cellphone was on and they were able to trace the number.

The signal was found to be in an area where four blocks of flats were situated, but could not find the woman. But yesterday morning, the cellphone signal began moving, and the police swooped.

They traced the woman’s phone to a certain location and then, using the Durban city camera network, were able to see her.

They found her walking on the street “looking just fine”, said a police officer.

She has not changed her story and told police she was in Durban looking for a job when a group of men kidnapped her and demanded a R3 000 ransom. She is alleged to have gambling problems.

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The Star