Police find 72-year-old kidnap

Image by Pavlofox from Pixabay

Police find 72-year-old kidnap victim unharmed after three weeks

Five people have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping. Police say more are likely to be apprehended.

Police find 72-year-old kidnap

Image by Pavlofox from Pixabay

Police have rescued a 72-year-old Indian citizen three weeks after he was kidnapped and held by an armed gang.

The man was found unharmed in Kensington, a suburb in eastern Johannesburg, in the early hours of Friday morning.

Although he told police he had not been harmed by his kidnappers, he was taken to hospital for a thorough medical examination.

Police raided a property in Klipriver and made five arrests

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo, the Indian national was seized by his kidnappers on 2 July.

Acting on intelligence received, police went to a property in Klipriver, south of Johannesburg on Thursday, where three alleged kidnappers and two others were arrested. However, the victim was not at the location.

During a visit to the crime scene, the National Commissioner of Police, General Khehla John Sitole, encouraged the team to not rest until the victim was found and safely reunited with his family.

Police team worked through the night to find victim

“Heeding to the call of the National Commissioner, as well as the 72-hour Activation Plan, the team worked through yet another night and rescued the victim in the area of Kensington in Johannesburg during the early hours of this [Friday] morning,” Naidoo said.

He added that no further details on the rescue would be provided at this stage in order to protect the investigation.

“The investigation team is confident that more suspects will be arrested,” Naidoo stated.

All suspects arrested to appear in court on Monday

Meanwhile, of the five suspects who were arrested at Klipriver, three men are to be charged with kidnapping and will appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday, 27 July.

The remaining two suspects, a man and a woman, will be charged for being in possession of firearms unlawfully and they will appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrates Court, also on Monday.

Report says ‘exponential increase’ in kidnapping cases

According to a report published in the City Press newspaper in Marth this year, there has been “an exponential increase in high-profile kidnappings for ransom that saw local and international abduction syndicates rake in a fortune worth more than R1-billion last year”.

The report quoted Brigadier Naidoo as saying: “I can confirm, without a fear of contradiction, that a number of police officers have been arrested for colluding with kidnappers.

“But I cannot tell you the number as I do not know it. We know that people are being kidnapped and that the kidnappers are demanding millions in ransom money, but we do not have any figures as to how many people have been kidnapped.”

Police general says many such crimes are never reported

City Press quoted an unnamed police general as saying that the families of many victims never report the crimes as they were threatened with consequences if they did so.

“In most of the cases, families of victims simply choose to pay the ransom and never involve the police,” the general said.