A kidnap-for-ransom money drop was foiled near the Eastgate Mall in Johannesburg on Monday night‚ leading to the safe return of a four-year-old girl.
She was physically unharmed‚ said national police commissioner Fannie Masemola‚ who commended the SAPS’ national task team responsible for investigating organised criminal syndicates involved in kidnappings for ransom.
The girl was kidnapped last Thursday at a school in Springs by a woman who pretended to be her child minder.
Her kidnappers then demanded millions of rand for her safe return.
At about 8pm on Monday‚ the task team led a team including the Johannesburg Metro Police Department‚ Gauteng Traffic Police‚ Netcare 911 and various security companies to an area near the shopping centre.
“As soon as the suspects arrived to collect the ransom money‚ the team swooped on the four suspects and rescued the little girl.”
At the scene‚ police seized two unlicensed firearms and two vehicles.
“The team’s sleepless nights has definitely paid off‚” said Masemola. “Well done to the [officers] who have ensured the safe return of the little girl‚ well and alive. This should definitely serve as a deterrent to others who are involved in such criminality. We are surely closing in on these syndicates‚ their days are indeed numbered.”
Police encouraged parents to provide the full names and details of their next of kin or guardians of their children at schools‚ “to ensure strangers do not have easy access to their children”.
Source: ARENA Holdings.