Police uncover kidnap syndicate operating between Western Cape and Gauteng: 11 Ethiopians freed
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Durban – Police have arrested two men, believed to be running a kidnap ring operating between the Western Cape and Gauteng.
Police spokesperson, Colonel André Traut said 11 Ethiopian nationals have since been released following the arrest.
Traut said investigators tracked the suspects to a home in Meadowlands.
"An intensive investigation into the circumstances of a kidnapping case where an Ethiopian national was kidnapped in Harare on September 16, 2021, led detectives to Gauteng where they continue their search for the victim, following demands for ransom for the victim’s safe return," Traut said.
He said in Gauteng, detectives partnered with Meadowlands police and conducted a raid at a storage facility in Hennessey Street in Meadowlands where a total of 11 kidnapped Ethiopian males were found.
Five of the eleven victims are from the Western Cape. Two were kidnapped in Harare, two in Paarl and one in Worcester. The other six victims are from other provinces, and they were reunited with their families.
Two suspects, aged 20 and 23, who were guarding the storage facility at the time of the raid were arrested and detained.
"They are expected to make their court appearance in Orlando on Monday morning where after they will be brought to the Western Cape to face the charges against them. The circumstances surrounding the extortion and kidnapping cases are still under investigation and the identities of the victims are not disclosed at this premature stage," Traut said.
Last week, 50-year-old Ahmed Kafecho was arrested after he allegedly held 50 Ethiopian nationals, aged between 12 and 50, at a home in Zacharia Park. The man reportedly demanded money from the victims' families in exchange for their release. The man is expected to appear in court again on Monday.