Abducted girl (7) reunited with family

The man who pretended to be the girl's father abducted her from school.

THE family of a seven-year-old girl who was abducted from school is happy to be reunited with their child. According to Bellair SAPS, the girl was picked up from school by a man who pretended to be her father on Wednesday, 24 August.

Bellair SAPS communications officer, W/O Prakash Kumar, said, “The man contacted the school and told them he would be fetching the girl, because her mother had been involved in an accident and would be unable to fetch her. When he got there the girl was waiting at the reception area and she walked up to him, when he arrived. This didn’t raise alarm bells for the receptionist as she assumed the girl knew him. They left the school and after a while, her mother received a phone call stating her daughter had been kidnapped. It was suspicious because the family has three children attending the school – two boys and a girl, but he only asked for the girl.”

W/O Kumar added, “The man claimed that the girl’s father owed him money so he abducted her for ransom. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the child’s father did not owe anyone money. The kidnapper was in constant contact with the mother about his demands. He initially asked for R50 000 and at that time we had mobilised our Hostage Negotiating Team. We tried reasoning with him and told him the parents did not have the money and he eventually settled for R5 000.”

He kept the girl for the night and after receiving a portion of the money the next day, the man sent the child home in a cab. The child was taken for examinations which revealed she was unharmed. Bellair SAPS urges parents and the school authority to be more vigilant with children. The man is still at large and the case is still under investigation. If you have information related to this incident, contact W/O Gouden on 082 826 1611, Bellair SAPS on 031451 2804 or make an anonymous report by calling CrimeStop on 086 001 0111.

Tips to ensure your child’s safety:

– Schools need to create a verification system.

– Parents should speak to their children and emphasise the possible dangers of interacting with strangers.

– Children should inform the school if they are picked up by strangers.

– Parents should make their children conscious of their surroundings, land marks, etc. to make it easier to retrace their steps.

– Children should be made aware of the reality of kidnapping.

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