Faizel Patel
3 minute read
26 Apr 2022
5:33 am

Four-year-old girl reunited with family after kidnapping ordeal

Faizel Patel

The girl was kidnapped last Thursday at a school in Springs by a woman who pretended to be the child minder.

Photo: Supplied by security company

The National Task Team responsible for investigating and addressing organised criminal syndicates involved in kidnappings for ransom have rescued a four-year-old Ethiopian child after a dramatic shootout with the criminals.

The girl was reunited with her family after her kidnapping ordeal.

The task team – led by a multidisciplinary team comprising of various disciplines in the SA Police Services (SAPS), the Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD), Netcare 911 and various other organisations – were led to an area near East Gate Mall at about 8pm on Monday night where the ransom money was meant to have been paid.

Four-year-old kidnapped

The girl was kidnapped last Thursday at a school in Springs by a woman who pretended to be the girl’s childminder before forcing her into a getaway vehicle.

Police spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe said following the girl’s kidnapping, her alleged kidnappers demanded millions of rands for her safe return.

“As soon as the suspects arrived to collect the ransom money, the team swooped in on the four suspects and rescued the little girl.”

At the scene, police also seized and recovered two unlicensed firearms as well as two vehicles.

The National Commissioner of the South African Police Services (SAPS) General Fannie Masemola has commended the team for their hard work and dedication.

“Well done to the team who have ensured the safe return of the little girl, well and alive. The team’s sleepless nights definitely paid off.

“We also thank our stakeholders for playing their part in ensuring that together we close in on these suspects and apprehend those who are behind this crime.

“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”, said General Masemola.

Police have encouraged parents to provide full names and details of the next of kin or guardians of their children at schools to ensure strangers do not have easy access to their children.

Kidnapping syndicates

Law enforcement collaborations in a multifaceted approach have made major breakthroughs in kidnapping for ransom syndicates with a number of people arrested.

Last week police identified a house in Ennerdale, linked to the arrested kidnapping suspects from Lenasia and the south of Johannesburg.

A source close to the investigation told The Citizen that authorities believe kidnapped victims were held captive at that house.

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.

ALSO READ: Kidnapping mastermind Faizal Charloos’ brother arrested in Lenasia

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.

Meanwhile, wanted suspect Irfaan Adamjee (known as ‘Muffins’) managed to evade arrest after a high-speed car chase in Lenasia.

Earlier this year members arrested eight suspects linked to a kidnapping syndicate and continued to make arrests as evidence of the syndicate’s wide network was exposed.

ALSO READ: Police identify Ennerdale house linked to Lenasia kidnapping suspects

Also in 2021, the Moti brothers were kidnapped in Polokwane. The incident raised serious concerns about the alarming increase in kidnapping cases.