A team of detectives from the South African Police Service (SAPS) Head Office, together with hostage negotiators, the Special Task Force and officers from Pretoria Central police station, arrested five people and safely rescued a kidnap-victim on Thursday, 5 February 2014.
Mr Alam Khrshed, 25 years of age, has been in South Africa for seven years, running a cellular phone shop in Hammanskraal. On 25 January this year he was in Marabastad, Pretoria, on business when he was overpowered by three men and forced into a car.
The kidnappers demanded a substantial amount of money in return for his safe release. This matter was reported to the police and detectives from SAPS Head Office and Pretoria Central police station followed up on information and arrested the first suspect earlier this week.
Yesterday, further investigations led the team to a smallholding between Witbank and Verenan where they arrested another two suspects and rescued the victim unharmed. Although the hostage had been rescued, the detectives did not rest, knowing that there were more suspects outstanding. They continued unabated until late last night and their efforts were rewarded with the arrest of a further two men.
The suspects are Pakistani Nationals and South Africans including one 19 year old South African woman.
The SAPS is also investigating another matter with a similar modus operandi in which a 12 year old boy was kidnapped on 20 December 2014 at an intersection in the Pretoria central business district. The boy was released unharmed eight days later in Bronkhorspruit after his father apparently paid part of the ransom. The possibility of the suspects also being involved in this kidnapping has not been ruled out.
The arrested suspects will appear in the Pretoria Magistrates’ Court on Monday, 9 January 2015, on charges of kidnapping and assault – SAPS