Police investigate kidnapping of KZN man as family claim they paid ransom twice

By Jolene Marriah-Maharaj Time of article published Dec 7, 2021

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Durban: Police are investigating the alleged kidnapping of an Ntuzuma resident who was last seen on Saturday.

KZN police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said the complainant alleged that his brother went to install DStv decoder in Ntuzuma on Saturday at around 10.32am. Later that day, he received a call from his brother, saying he was in trouble and demanding he transfer R2 000.

“His brother’s phone has been on voicemail and he is nowhere to be found. A case of kidnapping is being investigated by Ntuzuma police.”

Reaction Unit SA boss Prem Balram said the victim’s wife and brother arrived at their headquarters on Monday morning, seeking assistance in locating him.

“They allegedly paid the kidnappers twice and he was not released.”

Balram said the victim has been identified as Johnathan Eloho Okinedo, 42.

“According to his wife, Okinedo, also known as Jojo, a DStv technician, left to the Senzokwethu Secondary School in H Section, Ntunzuma, on Saturday at approximately 10.30am to meet a client wanting to fit a decoder. He was transported by an unknown taxi. He has not been seen since.”

Balram said his family received a call from his cellphone later that day. Okinedo informed them that his was being held against his will and the kidnappers were demanding R2 000 for his release.

“The family negotiated the amount to R500 and the money was transferred via e-wallet to a provided mobile number. Both phones were then switched off and the victim was not released.”

Balram said that on Sunday morning, the family received a call from a new number. The caller demanded R5 000 for the victim’s release.

“The family explained that they could not transfer that amount via e-wallet and the amount of R1 500 was agreed upon. When the transfer was done, the kidnappers switched off the phone and Okinedo was not released. He has not been heard from since.”

Balram said Okinedo, a father of one, moved from Nigeria to South Africa in 2015.

He is tall, bald, dark in complexion, has gapped teeth and a scar on his forehead.

“He has no tattoos, wears size 12 shoes and is of medium build.”

If you have any information regarding this kidnapping, please call Reaction Unit SA at 086 123 4333 or the South Africa Police Service at 10111.


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