Portuguese businessman rescued, one arrested

Portuguese businessman rescued, one arrested
Portuguese businessman rescued, one arrested. Image source: SAPS

In the last six months, 12 businessmen and six students who had been kidnapped for ransom, have been rescued by a multidisciplinary team led by the South African Police Service (SAPS) anti-kidnapping task team. A 49-year-old Portuguese businessman is the latest victim to be rescued by the team.

The SAPS anti-kidnapping task team including other law enforcement agencies and private security have been working around the clock to find the businessman, safe and unharmed. The man was kidnapped from his business premises in Florida on 24 June 2024.

On Monday evening, 01 July 2024, the team traced the victim to a home in Snake Park, Soweto where he had been in captivity.

On the same evening, members also arrested one of his captors in Turfontein, Johannesburg.

The 39-year-old suspect is believed to belong to a syndicate that is responsible for at least four other kidnappings where businessmen were the target in the Johannesburg District.

The team is currently tracing suspects who were working together with the man.

In cases where the businessmen and students had been rescued, no ransom payment was made as a direct result of the expertise and capabilities of SAPS detectives, the crime intelligence unit and collaboration with private security.

From January 2024 to date, 49 kidnappers who had demanded ransom payment from families of victims have been arrested in Gauteng, North West and the Free State.

21 vehicles used in the commission of these crimes have been confiscated and 8 firearms have also been seized.

The SAPS is confident that working together with all stakeholders and community tip-offs, it will continue to takedown more syndicates believed to be behind a spate of kidnappings for ransom across the country.

SAPS Newsroom