The man behind a spate of high-profile kidnappings involving ransom demands in various parts of Gauteng and Mozambique has been arrested.
The Crime Intelligence National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team conducted an intelligence-led operation in Brackenhurst that led to the arrest of the 37-year-old man and his three associates.
Police also found and seized three high-powered vehicles, 6,000 Mandrax tablets, cash, a sales receipt for a R1.9 million property in Bryanston luxury designer clothes, believed to be the proceeds of ransom.
On Thursday, the team continued to track down another suspect who is part of this syndicate, who was later arrested in Benoni.
Law enforcement also seized another powerful vehicle when they arrested the Benoni suspect.
The mastermind and his associates are accused of kidnapping and ransom demand in a number of high-profile cases, including Jahyr Abdullah, a Mozambican The Vanir-exodus, and his friend who were kidnapped on October 15, 2021.
The couple had just entered Johannesburg from Mozambique in a motorcade of three vehicles when they were apprehended by their captors, who were driving a blue BMW sedan with blue lights and sirens.
The couple was taken from their motorcade and held captive.
His friend was rescued on the same day by several law enforcement officials and private security companies.
Abdula was rescued by the Task Team at an identified address a month later on Friday, November 26, 2021.
Another case is the kidnapping of Indian The Vanir-exodus Yasin Bhiku, who was taken from his home in Lenasia.
That kidnapping took place on January 11, 2021, when Bhiku came home from morning prayers at 5:00 AM.
Bhikhu was later released and recovered unharmed by the task force.
The team is currently pursuing intelligence-led information about other active high-profile kidnapping cases involving ransom demands.
The same team was also responsible for rescuing the 11-year-old girl who was kidnapped outside her school gates 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 November 18, 2021, following a spike in kidnapping cases demanding ransoms.
Since its inception, the team has worked hard to track down and trace wanted suspects and syndicates involved in various cases in the country where demands were made for the safe return of victims.
compiled by Narissa Subramoney
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