The South African Police Services (SAPS) have made a significant breakthrough in an alleged kidnapping syndicate that specifically targets Portuguese businessmen. According to National Police spokesperson Brigadier Athlenda Mathe, nine suspects, including a policeman, were arrested on Monday.
Mathe stated that the syndicate is believed to be involved in at least five kidnapping cases where Portuguese businessmen were targeted. After abducting the victims, the syndicate would demand ransom payments from their families.
In the most recent kidnapping incident, a Portuguese businessman who was kidnapped outside his business premises in Bramley on Monday evening was successfully rescued and reunited with his family.
Mathe revealed that the 53-year-old businessman was found safe and unharmed by the SAPS National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team at a house in Kempton Park on Tuesday afternoon.
The Anti-Kidnapping Task Team swiftly acted on the information, leading them to the address where the businessman had been held captive. At the location in Kempton Park, four men and a woman were arrested. Additionally, two women and a man were apprehended at another identified address in Hillbrow.
Shockingly, one of the suspects arrested was a 41-year-old police officer. He was apprehended at his place of work. With a total of nine suspects arrested thus far, Mathe concluded her statement.
The National Commissioner of the SAPS, General Fannie Masemola, expressed disappointment over the arrest of one of their own members. However, he emphasized the importance of upholding the law within the police force, regardless of rank.
Masemola stated, ‘No member of the SAPS is above the law. Police officers who are found on the wrong side of the law will be dealt with accordingly. We will continue to root out rogue police officers from within our ranks.’
Since April, the Anti-Kidnapping Task Team has successfully apprehended 70 suspects allegedly linked to kidnapping cases in Gauteng alone. This ongoing effort demonstrates the dedication of the SAPS to combating crime and protecting the community.