Police have made a major breakthrough in the case surrounding the spate of kidnappings in Lenasia, south of Johannesburg.
Officers on Tuesday identified a house in Ennerdale, linked to the arrested kidnapping suspects from Lenasia.
A source close to the investigation told The Citizen that authorities believe kidnapped victims were held captive at that house.
“Residents living on that street were suspicious of the ongoings at the house, but they were shocked to find out that kidnapping victims were held in the area for such long periods at a time.”
This marks another breakthrough for the crime intelligence anti-kidnapping unit, with more witnesses now providing information to the police, which could lead to incriminating evidence.
So far, at least fifteen suspects including the mastermind Faizal Charloos and his wife Sadiya have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping for ransom demands.
On Monday, law enforcement officials also arrested Charloos’ brother in relation to the spate of kidnappings plaguing the suburb and other areas in the south of Johannesburg.
Authorities also pounced on wanted suspect Irfaan Adamjee (known as “Muffins”), but he managed to evade arrest after a high-speed car chase through a suburb in Lenasia.
Last week, at least seven suspects were arrested on charges of intimidation, extortion and impersonating police officers in Lenasia.
The suspects were apprehended in two separate sting operations on Wednesday and Thursday.
It is believed that the suspects are also allegedly linked to Charloos and the spate of kidnappings.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda told The Citizen that three of the suspects have already appeared in court.
“Ismail Salmo Mbendane (44), Imraan Sahim (42) and Bilal MIA (36) were arrested for extortion and have appeared before the Alexandra Magistrate’s Court.
“They were remanded in custody and their case was postponed to 22 April 2022,” said Netshiunda.
Another 60-year-old suspect was also arrested for extortion and is expected to appear in court next Tuesday.
Meanwhile, police are still on the hunt for ‘Muffins’ who may have additional information on the kidnappings.