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Rustenburg - Nine people were arrested in connection with the kidnapping of a woman in Welkom in the Free State on Friday, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (known as the Hawks) said.

Captain S’fiso Nyakane said an integrated team concluded an intensive investigation early on Friday morning that was originally initiated on Wednesday following the kidnapping of a 42-year-old woman. 

She was allegedly held hostage and the suspects demanded a ransom for her release.  

"The matter was reported to the Welkom SAPS [SA Police Service] and was immediately referred to the Hawks for further investigation," said Nyakane.

"On Thursday, the team initiated an intelligence-driven operation, keeping tabs on the numerous phone calls where the suspects demanded a huge ransom from the victim’s husband. Taking cues from the team, the drop off was made in Welkom and the victim was released unharmed. The members continued to track the suspects and eventually arrested them in Welkom CBD and Ondendaalsrus respectively."

The police seized almost R1 million in cash, six vehicles and gold nuggets.

"The suspects are set to make their first court appearance at Welkom Magistrate’s Court on Monday, 12 November 2018. Investigations continue."

African News Agency (ANA)