A 37-year-old man believed to be the mastermind and alleged kingpin behind a spate of high profile kidnappings in Gauteng , Maputo and Mozambique has been arrested.
The man and three people believed to be his associates were handcuffed during an intelligence driven operation in Brackenhurst, east of Johannesburg on Wednesday.
During the operation, police seized three high powered vehicles, 6 000 Mandrax tablets, cash, a receipt for a R1,9 million property in Bryanston and several high end luxury brand clothing among other items.
It is believed that the items were acquired through money received from ransom demands from the kidnappings.
In a separate operation on Thursday in Benoni, police arrested another suspect who was part of the kidnapping syndicate.
The polices Athlenda Mathe said the mastermind and his associates are accused of kidnapping and demanding a ransom in a number of high profile cases.
“Mr Jahyr Abdullah, a Mozambican national and his friend were kidnapped on 15 October 2021. Another case is that of Mr Yasin Bhiku, an Indian national who was kidnapped in the driveway of his home in Lenasia. The team is currently following intelligence driven information on other active high profile kidnapping cases where ransom demands have been made.”
Mathe said although not related, the Crime Intelligence National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team were also responsible for rescuing the 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped outside her school gate in Mayfair, last year.
“The little girl was later rescued in an informal settlement near Soweto.”
The Crime Intelligence National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team was established on the 18th November 2021 following a spike in kidnapping cases where a ransom was demanded.
Mathe said Police Management is confident that the Task Team is closing in on several syndicates responsible for kidnapping for ransom cases.
Meanwhile, the search continues for Vereeniging businessman Zaheer Asmal after he was kidnapped at his shop in De Deur on Thursday.