Durban - Sandra Moonsamy’s family is ecstatic that she will be home for Christmas.
Moonsamy, 46, a daughter of the Naicker family who operate a heavyweight logistics, plant and road construction company, was kidnapped on May 30 and held captive until police tracked her to a house in eMalahleni (Witbank), Mpumalanga, on Thursday.
Four suspects, who are believed to be part of an international syndicate targeting business people, were arrested during an operation headed by Hawks investigators.
Moonsamy was abducted while driving in Pinetown, outside Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, heading to her family home in Westville, .
When asked why the police believed Moonsamy’s abductors were allegedly members of a “sophisticated” syndicate, spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “They kidnapped a woman in Pinetown and took her almost 800km away, and their movements could not be traced until now.
“They drove luxury vehicles and were demanding a ransom of R140million.”
Mulaudzi said finding Moonsamy and arresting four suspects was a huge breakthrough.
He said South African law enforcement agencies should not be underestimated and there were “no private entities” involved in the cracking of this case.
“The Hawks working on this matter had to overcome many hurdles and they followed every lead that came their way.”
Mulaudzi said similarly, when they received information on Thursday, the Hawks team from KwaZulu-Natal moved to Johannesburg and teamed up with Crime Intelligence officials and members of Ekurhuleni’s metro police.
They were then able to arrest a suspect in Johannesburg who they believe was the “main member” of the syndicate and followed that up with another arrest in the city.
Following the information, the police headed to Mamelodi in Pretoria, but Moonsamy was not there.
“We then received information that she was being kept in a house in eMalahleni.
“We were able to penetrate the house and we found her with chains around her feet, but she was able to access all the amenities inside. There were also two male suspects present.”
Mulaudzi confirmed a 9mm handgun had also been found in the house.
When Moonsamy realised police had stormed the house, Mulaudzi said she became “emotional”.
“We immediately summoned emergency services so that her condition could be stabilised.”
He said all four men arrested were “foreigners” and were being checked if they were wanted in their homeland for other crimes.
Mulaudzi said they would also be working with the Department of Home Affairs to check their statuses and how they received documentation.
Family spokesperson Inderan Naicker said his family was grateful that they were reunited with his sister and at no point did they doubt she would be found.
“We are grateful to the Lord Jesus Christ and the wonderful work done by the police.
“We also appreciated the prayers and support we received from family, friends and strangers,” said Naicker.