Cape Town – Police say they have arrested the man believed to be behind a spate of high-profile kidnappings where ransoms were demanded in various parts of Gauteng and Mozambique.
Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said in a statement over the weekend that on Wednesday last week, the Crime Intelligence National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team conducted an intelligence-driven operation at an address in Brackenhurst where they arrested the alleged 37-year-old kingpin and his three associates.
“At this address, police found and seized three high powered vehicles, 6 000 tablets of Mandrax, hard cash, a receipt of sale for a R1.9 million property in Bryanston, several high end luxury brand clothing, all of which police believe were acquired through money received from ransom cash payments. All four were arrested and are currently in police custody,” said Mathe.
On Thursday, the team continued with the tracing of another suspect who was part of this syndicate.
“The team kept an observation at an identified address in Benoni and moved in to arrest the suspect. Another high performance vehicle was seized and the suspect was apprehended and is currently in police custody,” Mathe said.
The mastermind and his associates were accused of kidnapping and demanding a ransom in a number of high profile cases, including that of Jahyr Abdullah, a Mozambican national, and his friend who were kidnapped on October 15, 2021.
The pair had just entered Johannesburg from Mozambique in a three-vehicle motorcade when they were pulled over by their captors who were driving a blue BMW sedan fitted with blue lights and sirens. The pair were taken from their motorcade and held captive.
“His friend was rescued on the same day by various officials from law enforcement agencies and private security companies. Mr Abdula was rescued a month later at an identified address on Friday, 26 November 2021 by the Task Team,” said Mathe.
Another case was that of Yasin Bhiku, an Indian national who was kidnapped in the driveway of his home in Lenasia.
“This incident took place on 11 January 2021, when Mr Bhiku was returning home at 05:00 from morning prayer. Hot on the heels of his captors, Mr Bhikhu was released and found unharmed by the Task Team,” said Mathe.
Police were currently following intelligence-driven information on other active high-profile kidnapping cases where ransom demands were made.
Compiled by Betha Madhomu