The Cape Navigator

Seaside Community Newspaper


Dramatic Twist as Task Team Nabs Culprit Behind Fake Kidnapping Scheme

Michael Hawthorne

PHILIPPI, CAPE TOWN – The Western Cape Multi-disciplinary Kidnapping Task Team has successfully apprehended a 25-year-old suspect accused of orchestrating his own kidnapping. The elaborate ruse, designed to extort money from his family, unfolded over the course of several days.

The ordeal began on Tuesday, 02 January 2024, when a foreign national reported his brother missing after receiving a distressing message from an anonymous telephone number. The complainant had left his residence on David Venda Street, Betterlife, Philippi East, to go to work, entrusting his brother with the task of depositing rent money at a local Shoprite.

The situation took a dark turn when, upon switching on his cellphone at around 18:00, the complainant discovered a message claiming that his brother had been kidnapped. The alleged kidnappers demanded a ransom ranging between R4000 and R5000 for the safe return of the captive. They asserted that they had taken both money and the captive’s cellphone and were located in the Khayelitsha area.

As the day unfolded, the stakes heightened, with the ransom demand escalating to a staggering R15,000. The family, distressed by the increasing demand, decided to comply and made the payment via e-wallet on 09 January 2024. However, the true nature of the situation came to light on 10 January 2024 when the captive unexpectedly returned home.

The captive, now revealed as the orchestrator of the entire charade, confessed to colluding with a friend to stage the kidnapping. Their motive? A desperate attempt to extract money from the family, which he admitted using for gambling instead of the intended purpose – depositing rent money.

The suspect is currently in custody at the Philippi East Police Station and is slated to make his first court appearance in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court on 12 January 2024. The SAPS Western Cape Spokesperson, Captain Frederick van Wyk, concluded by highlighting the swift and effective action taken by the Multi-disciplinary Kidnapping Task Team in resolving the case.

The bizarre incident shows the unpredictable nature of criminal activities and the vigilance required by law enforcement to tackle such deceptive schemes.


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