In a pre-dawn intelligence-driven raid today, members of various units of the South African Police Service and the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) swooped in on an alleged kidnapping syndicate at a house in Kliprivier, Arrive Alive reported.
The SAPS Intelligence team was following leads on the kidnapping of an Indian National earlier who was kidnapped earlier this month. This intelligence led the integrated multi-disciplinary team to the Kliprivier house where a total of five men, two of which are of foreign nationality, were arrested. Three of these men are likely to be charged with kidnapping while the other two, possibly for unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.
The investigation team also recovered foreign military uniform, several firearms including rifles and pistols, some of which were buried in the garden on the same property. Some of the long guns include two AK 47 rifles, one uzzi submachine gun, and two pump action shot guns.
The owner of the house is currently on the run and the kidnapped victim has not yet been found.
During his visit to the crime scene today, the National Commissioner of the SAPS praised the team for their hard work and perseverance citing kidnapping and the proliferation of firearms and ammunition as one the priorities of the South African Police Service.
“This is great work” General Sitole said to the team, “but the job is not done yet”.
“We must continue with our efforts to trace and arrest the owner of the house and anybody else linked to this group, but more importantly we must find and reunite the kidnapped victim safely with his family”, added General Sitole.
“In the meantime, we are also investigating the possibility that this group may also be linked to Melville drive-by shooting on New Year’s Day this year.” He said.
“We are encouraging anyone who has any more information on this matter to contact the SAPS on our Crime Stop number 08600 10111. Information may also be communicated via the MySAPSApp.”
All information will be treated with strictest confidence and callers may remain anonymous.
Photo Credit: Arrive Alive