Three people believed to be part of a kidnapping racket were on Wednesday arrested in Pretoria, as police probe a kidnapping incident where a 76-year-old man was reportedly held hostage overnight while his bank accounts were being emptied at nearby filling stations.
“An intelligence driven operation by the [SAPS elite crime fighting unit] Hawks’ tactical operations management section (Toms) at national office in concert with Tshwane Metro Police and K9 unit as well as Tracker Connect executed the delicate rescue procedure with precision,” Hawks spokesperson Captain Lloyd Ramovha said.
“They [officers] took up their strategic positions and identified a suspicious Hyundai i20 hatchback entering into a local petrol station with two occupants. The two suspects then exited the vehicle, went to the automatic teller machine where they withdrew money in several transactions and drove off.”
The vehicle was followed by police officers and stopped.
“They apprehended the two suspects who were found in possession of the victims bank card and other valuables. The suspects then gave details of an address where the victim was being held hostage.
“The identified premises were accessed; one more suspect was apprehended from the premises,” Ramovha said.
“The shocked but unharmed victim was rescued and his vehicle was also recovered from the scene. The vehicle that was used in the commission of a crime has been seized as well as cash, cell phones and the victims’ bank cards for further investigation.”
He said the three suspects, aged 34, 36 and 37, are expected to appear in a Pretoria court within 48 hours. “They have been charged for kidnapping, extortion and possession of stolen property,” Ramovha said.