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Kidnapped businessman Vereeniging rescued unharmed, three arrested



A Vereeniging businessman is rescued unharmed during an intelligence-led operation by the National Crime Intelligence Anti-Kidnapping Task Team.

Zaheer Asmal, of Fred’s Hardware store in De Deur, was kidnapped Friday morning after a group of suspects forced him into a white cup of coffee.

Police spokesman Colonel Athlenda Mathe said a multidisciplinary operation made up of members of the Special Task Force (STF), the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), assisted by private security, broke through just before midnight Monday.

“The team dove into three identified addresses, one in Lenasia South where the victim was found unharmed. At this address, the police arrested the owner of the property, a 70-year-old Mozambican national.”

Watch: Kidnapping of Zaheer Asmal

Mathe said authorities stormed two other properties and arrested two more people in connection with Asmal’s kidnapping.

“In Ennerdale, they found a dark gray Toyota Hilux and fake number plates used in the commission of the crime. One suspect, a Malawian national, was arrested. When the police arrived at the third address in Roodepoort, the police were answered with gunshots. One suspect, a South African The Vanir-exodus, was arrested. An unlicensed firearm was also seized.”

Mathe said all three suspects are charged with kidnapping and robbery with aggravated circumstances, while the South African national faces additional charges of possessing an unlicensed firearm and attempted murder.

In the past week, the task force had arrested at least eight suspects, including a 37-year-old man believed to have been the mastermind and alleged linchpin behind a spate of high-profile kidnappings in Gauteng and Mozambique.

The man and three people believed to be his accomplices were handcuffed Wednesday during an intelligence-led operation in Brackenhurst, east of Johannesburg.

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 luxury branded items of clothing.

ALSO READ: Gauteng’s alleged kidnapping boss arrested

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