Police Minister, Bheki Cele, has revealed that the suspects arrested in connection with the recent kidnapping of a 18-year-old Wits University student have been linked to over 50 kidnappings.
The minister held a media briefing on Tuesday, giving an update on the efforts made by the police to fight serious and violent crimes in the country.
“Police have broken the back of this particular kidnapping syndicate that has so far been linked to over 50 kidnappings, where ransom demands were being made,” he said.
It is reported that the kidnappers used a dating app called Grindr to lure the Wits student and later demanded ransom of R30 000 from his family.
Seven suspects have since been arrested and are said to be part of an apparent kidnapping syndicate that has been targeting the LGBTQIA+ community through the popular dating app.
Cele says kidnapping has become a major issue in the country.
The Minister says illegal mining syndicates are also being intercepted and taken down.
“In MP police shutdown an illegal coal mine, a mine manager was arrested and manhunt for the owner is underway. Nine suspects were arrested in Khutsong, GP, for illegal mining 58 proprieties worth R17m were seized. Over 800 illegal miners were arrest in the Northern Cape.”
The suspects will be appearing in court on Friday.
Last month, a Takedown Operation was conducted in Eden Park, east of Johannesburg, where CIT suspects were intercepted at their safe house prior to committing the crime.
Five suspects were arrested, three Firearms and five vehicles confiscated.
Earlier this year, a group of 11 suspects were shot and killed during a shootout with the Police in Sebokeng, west of Johannesburg. The suspects were intercepted before they left their safe house en-route to commit a Cash In-transit robbery.
Cele says the police are working hard to stop these crimes and will stop at nothing to eradicate criminality.
He also lauded the South African Police Service (SAPS) members for the work they have done to combat crime in the country.
[CRIME INTELLIGENCE] “The long arm of the law will not be selective nor will it be kind. “- Bheki Cele pic.twitter.com/0BGkINNsVS
— Lirandzu Themba (@LirandzuThemba) September 26, 2023
#PoliceMinistry [CIT ROBBERIES] In the past week alone, SAPS have registered a number of successes, including the latest take down of #CIT heist suspects in Hoedspruit, Limpopo in which 4 suspects were killed and 3 suspects arrested. We would like to take this opportunity to… pic.twitter.com/2aQKnpTJJd
— SA Police Service 🇿🇦 (@SAPoliceService) September 26, 2023
Written by: Nonhlanhla Harris