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Zimbabwe used as route to kidnap foreigners in South Africa

by Mandla Ndlovu
09 Mar 2020 at 11:09hrs | Views
Zimbabwe is one of the countries that are used by a syndicate of kidnapers to adduct wealthy people and hold them for ransom, a South African newspaper has reported.

The paper said the syndicate was targeting wealthy South Africans, nationals from Pakistan, Indians and other Asians.

The paper said the gang who operates from South Africa concoct  illegal traveling documents for business people who are in Asia to come to do deals in South Africa.

The victims are assisted to travel through Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Mozambique. The syndicate has operatives who assist these foreigners to arrive in the three countries and get assisted to travel to South Africa.

Quoting police sources the paper said, " As soon as they cross the border, they are flagged and stopped by the police. That is how they get kidnapped. The abductors contact their families in Asia, demanding a ransom for their release."

"More often than not, the kidnappers demand over R1 million, he said, adding that almost always, the kidnappers demand that the ransom be paid in Dubai via the Hawala banking system."

Hawala, which originated in Asia, is often used to launder money and finance terrorism.

The police source is said to have added that the kidnapers were running a well-knit complicate network that uses international phone numbers.

"I foresee the kidnappings going up because the victims' families are willing to pay the ransoms. We are really worried that some of these guys could have links to terrorist organizations," the said.

South Africa has been seeing a rise in the kidnapping crimes targeting rich foreigners.

In 2019 two Zimbabwean brothers who were in the trucking business were abducted and killed after the family paid a ransom to their kidnapers.

They were buried in Bulawayo.  

Source - Byo24News