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Pakistani national who allegedly masterminded the kidnapping of 10 foreign nationals nabbed

Ten kidnapped foreign nationals were rescued after they were kidnapped in January. File Picture: Pixabay

Ten kidnapped foreign nationals were rescued after they were kidnapped in January. File Picture: Pixabay

Published Feb 11, 2022

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Cape Town - A 39-year-old Pakistani national is expected to make a formal bail application in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court after he was arrested on kidnapping charges.

According to the national police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda, ten foreign nations were kidnapped in January 2022, and the suspect arrested is alleged to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping.

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Dilpazeer Azam was arrested in Centurion on Sunday, February 6, during an intelligence-led operation, which comprised of members of the National Crime Intelligence, Head Office Organised Crime, Gauteng Organised Crime, Johannesburg K9 Unit, Gauteng Hostage Negotiating Team, Ekurhuleni Police Department SWAT and private security companies.

Azam made his first court appearance in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.

His case was then transferred to the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court, and during his appearance in court on Thursday, he was remanded in custody.

According to Netshiunda, preliminary investigations into the matter have revealed that Azam allegedly was making calls to the families of the victims, demanding a ransom for their release.

“It is reported that on January 26, 2022, 10 foreign nationals were travelling along the N1highway from Musina when they were stopped by another vehicle.

“The victims were allegedly loaded into another vehicle and were transported to Polokwane where they were allegedly handed to the suspect near the Peter Mokaba Stadium,” he said.

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Investigations led police to a lodge in Johannesburg, and the victims were rescued.

“On Thursday, February 10, 2022, the investigating team operationalised intelligence information which led them to a lodge in Bruma, Johannesburg, where the 10 victims were rescued unharmed.

“The suspect will be back in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on February 17, 2022, where he will make a formal bid for bail,” Netshiunda said.

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Police said while investigations into this matter continue, more arrests are imminent.

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