Pretoria – An alleged kidnapping kingpin who was arrested in Pretoria will on Monday appear before the Tembisa magistrate’s court, where extradition processes will commence as he is wanted in neighbouring Mozambique.

SAPS national spokesperson, Brigadier Athlenda Mathe said the 50-year-old was arrested at an upmarket estate in Centurion, Tshwane.

She said extradition processes would “immediately commence” when the 50-year-old appeared in court.

The suspect was arrested in connection with abductions cases where ransom demands were made in Mozambique.

“A multidisciplinary team led by members of the Trilateral Planning Cell (TPC) and the International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) pounced on an upmarket estate in Centurion where they arrested an alleged kingpin wanted for kidnapping cases where ransom demands were made in Mozambique,” said Mathe.

The TPC is a structure which was established and is led by cabinet ministers responsible for policing in South Africa, Mozambique and Tanzania to counter transnational organized crime.

“The team was acting on a warrant of arrest and an extradition request by the government of Mozambique,” Mathe said.

“On Saturday evening, the team also consisting of the special task force, crime intelligence and organized crime pounced on 50-year-old Esmael Malude Ramos Nangy at an identified address in Centurion where he was arrested.

“In his possession the team seized a 9mm licensed firearm, fourteen 9mm cartridges, five cellphones, multiple bank cards for South African banks as well as multiple SA and Mozambican SIM cards.”

While the friend was still shocked from what he heard on the phone, he heard someone over the phone demanding ransom for his friend’s release.

“After receiving that call, he reported to the police and it is alleged that more of the victim’s friends also reported to the police that they received strange calls with a demand of the ransom for the victim’s release,” said Mohlala.

A team of investigators, including SAPS crime intelligence and hostage negotiators, was assembled to deal with the matter.

In a similar incident earlier this month, police in Mpumalanga last arrested a 43-year-old man purported to be linked to detained suspected Mozambican kidnapping kingpin Faizal Charloos.

Mpumalanga police spokesperson, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said the man was arrested at Botleng, Delmas.

“The suspect was arrested hours after a 32-year-old victim was kidnapped and a ransom demanded for his release,” Mohlala said.

According to SAPS information, the victim had visited a friend in Botleng.

“He left just before 10pm. In less than 30 minutes, the friend allegedly received a call from his visitor’s phone who could be heard screaming that he has been abducted,” said Mohlala.

Charloos had a cellphone smuggled into his cell and was using it to communicate with his alleged accomplices on the outside, according to police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

“Intelligence information pointed the police to a residence in Lenasia where Charloos’ alleged accomplice was arrested. He was found in possession of a cellphone which preliminary investigations revealed that he was using to send money to Charloos via e-wallet and also make other payments as ordered by Charloos,” Netshiunda said.

Netshiunda further incited that more arrests are expected.

“The suspect was also found in possession of a white Toyota Hilux affixed with false registration plates. Further investigations confirmed that the vehicle was hijacked in Lyttelton in July 2016. Police are following several leads and more arrests cannot be ruled out.”.

Charloos was arrested on 18 March with five other suspects, including his wife, Sadiya, for their alleged involvement in a string of kidnapping cases and for terrorising businessmen in Gauteng.

Kidnappings for ransom have also exploded in recent years in South Africa, already infamous for its high crime rate.


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Piers Potter


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