Alleged kidnapping mastermind arrested, 10 victims rescued
The Polokwane Magistrate’s Court has on Thursday, 10 February 2022 remanded in custody a man who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of 10 foreign nationals in Polokwane in January 2022.
Dilpazeer Azam, a 39 year old Pakistani national was arrested in Centurion on Sunday, 6 February 2022 during an intelligence-led operation comprising of members of National Crime Intelligence, Head Office Organised Crime, Gauteng Organised Crime, Johannesburg K9 Unit, Gauteng Hostage Negotiating Team, Ekurhuleni Police Department SWAT and private security companies.
The suspect first appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 8 February 2022 where his case was transferred to the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. Preliminary investigation have revealed that the suspect was making calls to the families of the victims demanding ransom.
It is reported that on 26 January 2022 ten foreign nationals were travelling along the N1 from Musina when they were stopped by another vehicle. The victims were allegedly loaded into another vehicle and were transported to Polokwane where they were allegedly handed to the suspect near the Peter Mokaba Stadium.
On Thursday, 10 February 2022 the investigating team operationalised intelligence information which led them to a lodge in Bruma, Johannesburg where the ten victims were rescued unharmed.
The suspect will be back in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on, 17 February 2022 where he will make a formal bid for bail.
Police investigations are continuing and more arrests are imminent.
Source: Government of South Africa