SA: Zim man in court for stagging own kidnapping to extort relatives
CAPE TOWN: A Zimbabwean man who faked his own kidnapping to extort R15 000 from his family was set to appear in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court this morning.
Police spokesperson, Captain Frederick van Wyk, says the 25-year-old was arrested by the Multi-disciplinary Kidnapping Task Team this week.
Van Wyk says on January 2, a man reported that his brother had been kidnapped after receiving a message from an anonymous telephone number.
“According to reports, at approximately 5.30am the complainant left his residence at David Venda Street, Betterlife, Philippi East to go to work leaving his brother who was supposed to go and deposit rent money at Shoprite for the premises they are residing at.
“It’s alleged that the complainant’s cellular telephone was off and when he switched it on at about 6pm, he found a message indicating that his brother had been kidnapped.”
The suspects then allegedly demanded a ransom between R4 000 and R5 000 for his safe return.
“They also said that they took the money and the cell-phone of the hostage and that they are in Khayelitsha. Later on during the day, the wife of the complainant also received a message from a different number, saying she must deposit the requested amount to this number,” Van Wyk adds.
The alleged hostage was never returned home but the fake kidnappers then upped the ransom to R15 000.
Van Wyk says on Tuesday, the family decided to pay the R15 000 ransom through eWallet and he was released.
“The captive came back home and admitted that he and his friend staged the kidnapping as they wanted to extort money from his family. He further stated that he used the rent money for gambling.
“The suspect is currently detained at Philippi East Police Station and is scheduled to make his first court appearance in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on January 12.”