Police in Mpumalanga have arrested a 43-year-old undocumented Zimbabwean national and charged him with kidnapping, extortion, armed robbery, and illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.
The unnamed 43-year-old was arrested at Botleng, Delmas, on Friday, IOL reported citing Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala. He is cited as saying:
The suspect was arrested hours after a 32-year-old victim was kidnapped and a ransom demanded for his release.
Mohlala added that the 32-year-old victim visited a friend in Botleng on Thursday.
He left the friend’s place just before 10 pm, according to Mohlala.
Less than 30 minutes after his departure, the friend allegedly received a call from his visitor’s phone who could be heard screaming that he has been abducted.
Then someone was heard over the phone demanding ransom for his friend’s release.
Mohlala said after receiving the call, the host friend approached the police and reported the case.
It is alleged that more of the victim’s friends also reported to the police that they received strange calls with a demand for ransom for the victim’s release.
A team of investigators, including officers from SAPS crime intelligence and hostage negotiators, was assembled.
On Friday, January 6, 2023, the victim arrived at the police station after he was released at about 3 pm. He was interviewed and it was established that his mobile phone was still in the hands of the suspect.
Investigations led authorities to a location in Botleng where the suspect fitting the description given by the victim was found.
Investigations further revealed that the firearm was reported missing during a business robbery that took place in Pretoria in 2020.
The arrested suspect will appear in the Delmas Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
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