Police rescue abducted businessman, nab one suspect

Suspect arrested believed to be part of the syndicate doing kidnappings in the country. Supplied.

Suspect arrested believed to be part of the syndicate doing kidnappings in the country. Supplied.

Published Jul 2, 2024


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A Portuguese businessman, aged 49, is the latest victim to be rescued by the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) anti-kidnapping task team.

National police revealed that in the last six months, 12 businessmen and six students who had been kidnapped for ransom were rescued by a multidisciplinary team led by the SAPS task team.

Police said the task team including other law enforcement agencies and private security, had worked around the clock to find the businessman, safe and unharmed.

“The man was kidnapped from his business premises in Florida on June 24, 2024,” said SAPS national spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe.

She said on Monday evening, the team traced the victim to a home in Snake Park, Soweto, where he had been kept in captivity. The same evening, members arrested one of his captors in Turffontein, Johannesburg.

She said a suspect, aged 39, is believed to be part of a syndicate responsible for at least four other kidnappings of businessmen in the Johannesburg area.

“The team is currently tracing suspects who were working together with the man,” said Mathe.

She said in cases where businessmen and students had been rescued, no ransom payment was made as a direct result of the expertise and capabilities of the police detectives, the crime intelligence unit, and collaboration with private security.

Some of the students were kidnapped after meeting suspects in a dating site called Grindr.

Mathe revealed that from January 2024 to date, 49 kidnappers who had demanded ransom payment from families of victims, had been arrested in Gauteng, the North West and the Free State.

She said 21 vehicles used in the commission of these crimes were confiscated and eight firearms were seized.

“The SAPS is confident that working together with all stakeholders and community tip-offs, it will continue to take down more syndicates believed to be behind a spate of kidnappings for ransom across the country,” Mathe said.

In March this year, the Sunday Independent reported that international statistics in 2023, showed that South Africa had the highest kidnapping rate among African countries, with 9.57 kidnappings out of 100 000 people.

The Star

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