Kidnapped victims rescued by an elite police task team

Published Jul 9, 2024


Police have assured South Africans that they have the necessary expertise and capabilities to intercept and takedown syndicates involved in kidnappings where ransom demands are made.

This comes after the South African Police Service’s elite Special Task Force (STF) unit rescued two kidnapped victims at an informal settlement in Crystal Park, Ekurhuleni, on Monday.

The two victims and the two Portuguese businessmen who were rescued last week bring the total number to four successes in a matter of about eight days.

Unfortunately, there was no fresh information about businessman Ashraf Kaka who was kidnapped outside the Helderkruin Mosque, in the west of Johannesburg on Friday. Police are still Investigating.

In one of the successful operations, a man aged 64 and another one aged 34, were kidnapped while driving along Putfontein Road in Crystal Park on Sunday.

The kidnappers immediately began making ransom demands to their families. The SAPS was notified and a team led by the Special Task Force was mobilised.

On Monday afternoon, the team pounced on the kidnappers where a shootout ensued. One kidnapper was shot and killed, one was wounded and taken to hospital and the other four were arrested and taken into police custody.

SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, said: “The SAPS assures communities that may be victims of this type of crime, that it has the necessary expertise and capabilities to intercept and takedown syndicates involved in Kidnappings where ransom demands are made. Last week, six kidnappers were arrested and two businessmen were rescued.”

She urged communities to immediately report to their nearest police station, or call the crime stop hotline number 0860010111 if any of their relatives or friends fell victim to these kidnappers.

Chad Thomas, an organised crime investigator from IRS Forensic Investigations, said it was disconcerting how prolific this type of crime had become. He said several copy-cat syndicates were also believed to be operating.

He added: “SAPS Crime Intelligence National Office have set up a dedicated multi-jurisdictional inter-agency task team led by Major General Feroz Khan. They are making inroads into identifying and taking down criminal syndicates as was evidenced in recent cases.

“ The problem is that there are a limited number of people working these cases and the problem is that this particular type of crime is growing on a daily basis. The State must ensure that units such as these that are showing a success are fully capacitated to tackle these criminal syndicates head on,” Thomas said.

The Star

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kidnappingtrue crime