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Crime activist Yusuf Abramjee breaks down SA’s scary kidnapping patterns

According to anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee, the majority of kidnappings in South Africa, are for ransom. Picture: Meelimelo/Pixabay

According to anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee, the majority of kidnappings in South Africa, are for ransom. Picture: Meelimelo/Pixabay

Published Nov 12, 2021


Durban - According to anti-crime activist Yusuf Abramjee, most kidnappings in South Africa, are for ransom. He said in a lot of the cases, criminal syndicates target people of Indian origin.

Abramjee was speaking to eNCA following news that the Moti brothers - the four Limpopo brothers who were missing - were reunited with their family, three weeks after they were kidnapped.

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Police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo said Zia, Alaan, Zayyad and Zidan Moti were dropped off in Vuwani on Wednesday night.

The boys walked to the nearest house and contacted their father. The homeowner called the police and the boys were reunited with their parents.

Abramjee said a number of syndicates appear to be at work.

Abramjee said kidnappings have increased in the country in recent times.

He explained that there are two types of gangs or syndicates.

"You get your organised and highly skilled gangs. I wouldn't be surprised if the Moti brothers were taken by one of those gangs. And then you have your smaller, copycat gangs that go for a quick buck. How many of them are operating in South Africa? I would say scores of them," he said.

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Abramjee said in various parts of the country he knew of at least two or three other victims of kidnap who are still missing.

He said in 99.9% of the cases, criminals want ransom. He said these gang will demand anything from R50 000 to R2 million.

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“Then you get the bigger syndicates who will demand anything from R2m up to R50m. Some even have international links.”

Regarding whether or not ransom was paid for the Moti brothers, Abramjee said he was not sure of the specifics, however, it forms part of the ongoing SAPS investigation.

He added that in most of the cases, very few or no arrests are made. In Gauteng and the North West, Abramjee said there were people arrested but they are still awaiting trial.

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“I wouldn't be surprised if some of these gangs are aided and abetted by rogue cops. This is worrying for me,” he said.

Abramjee said kidnap syndicates often take days, even weeks to plan out their attack.

“They do their homework extensively, in some cases for up to six months. They even know how much money their victim’s family has access to. They know how big the business and how much money the family have in their bank account," he said.

He added that this was the first time where children were taken, as in other cases adults are kidnapped while on their way to prayers or coming from work. He said usually, the syndicate makes contact with the victim’s family to demand money and in some extreme cases, bitcoin.

At this stage, police have not commented on whether ransom was paid for the Moti boys.