NELSPRUIT – Kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, illegal possession of firearm and ammunitions are charges faced by a 43-year-old suspect arrested at Botleng, Delmas in Mpumalanga yesterday, Friday 06 January 2023.
The suspect was arrested hours after a 32-year-old victim was kidnapped and a ransom demanded for his release.
According to information, the victim visited a friend in Botleng on Thursday 05 January 2023.
He left just before 22:00. In less than 30 minutes the friend allegedly received a call from his visitor’s phone who could be heard screaming that he has been abducted.
Whilst still shocked, he heard someone over the phone demanding ransom for his friend’s release.
After receiving that call, he reported to the police and it is alleged that more of the victim’s friends also reported to the police that they received strange calls with a demand of the ransom for the victim’s release.
A team of investigators comprised of Crime Intelligence and hostage negotiators was assembled.
Yesterday, Friday 06 January 2023, the victim arrived at the police station after he was released at about 15:00.
He was interviewed and it was established that his cellphone was still at the hands of the suspect. Investigation was intensified and led police to a location in Botleng where the suspect fitting the description given by the victim was found.
In his possession, the suspect had the victim’s cellphone and the unlicensed Norinco 9mm pistol with serial numbers filed off and 22 live rounds of ammunition.
Investigation further revealed that the firearm was also reported missing during a business robbery that took place in Pretoria in 2020.
The suspect was arrested and charged with kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery and illegal possession of firearm and ammunitions.
Police cannot rule out possibilities of adding other charges as investigation continues.
He will appear in Delmas Magistrate’s Court on Monday 09 January 2023.
The Provincial Management appreciated the team for the breakthrough and hope other suspects linked to the Pretoria business robbery will be arrested soon.
Source: South African Police Service