Kid­nap vic­tim al­lowed to com­mu­ni­cate with his son

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - BRONWYN DAVIDS

WHILE the fam­ily of an el­derly city busi­ness­man kid­napped more than two weeks ago are still no closer to know­ing his where­abouts, it has been re­vealed that Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed’s cap­tors have al­lowed him to com­mu­ni­cate with his el­dest son.

Hanif Loonat, the fam­ily spokesper­son, told the Week­end Argus: “The truth is there is con­tact be­tween the fa­ther and the el­dest son and we are wait­ing for the re­sults of their dis­cus­sions. We will not be go­ing into the de­tails of their dis­cus­sions.”

Ahmed, 71, was snatched out­side the Wood­stock branch of his pop­u­lar chain of fab­ric stores, Zhauns, on July 25.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Ahmed and his driver were at his car when a dou­ble- cab bakkie pulled up be­hind them, threat­ened Ahmed with a firearm and bun­dled him into the ve­hi­cle be­fore they drove off, leav­ing his driver un­harmed.

The dou­ble-cab was later found in Victoria Road, Wood­stock.

Loonat de­nied me­dia re­ports that the kid­nap­pers had de­manded a R44 mil­lion ran­som and rub­bished ru­mours that a fam­ily mem­ber was about to fly to Johannesburg to pay the money. He de­scribed the spec­u­la­tion as “ab­so­lute non­sense, out of hand and far from the truth”.

“Re­ports of a de­mand for a ran­som is nowhere near the truth. He is alive. That is what mat­ters,” said Loonat.

He added that the rest of the fam­ily “were not threat­ened in any way” and were con­duct­ing their fab­ric busi­ness as “normal”.

“Un­der the cir­cum­stances, they are try­ing to cope,” said Loonat, who would not be drawn fur­ther, ex­cept to say com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween fa­ther and son had be­gun right af­ter he had been taken. “It is dif­fi­cult to say what state he is in,” Loonat com­mented.

Yes­ter­day, po­lice spokesper­son FC van Wyk said the case was un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion but no ar­rests had been made.

“Kindly be ad­vised that it is too early in this in­ves­ti­ga­tion to spec­u­late. This of­fice does not wish to spec­u­late and will con­firm de­tails as soon as the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is con­cluded,” Van Wyk said.

Since last year, there has been a spate of kid­nap­pings of busi­ness­men and it was feared that a syn­di­cate was tar­get­ing wealthy mem­bers of the Bangladesh, In­dian and Pak­istani com­mu­nity and de­mand­ing ran­soms of up to R5m.

In Septem­ber, Bon­te­heuwel gro­cer Ma­habub Rah­man was snatched in a car park at the Water­front. He was miss­ing for a week and kid­nap­pers de­manded R4m to be paid in Bangladesh, where po­lice ar­rested sus­pects lead­ing to Rah­man’s re­lease.

In Novem­ber, Con­stan­tia busi­ness­man Naushad Desh­mukh Khan, 46, was kid­napped by five men when he left his Eastern de­signer wear bou­tique, Khan’s, in Ry­land’s Es­tate.

His kid­nap­pers dropped him off in Thorn­ton two months later in a dazed state. Mys­tery sur­rounded his kid­nap­ping but the po­lice have not re­vealed any de­tails.

In De­cem­ber, a de­vout Mus­lim busi­ness­man, Mustapha Goolan, was kid­napped out­side his shop in Lo­tus River and while in cap­tiv­ity he was taunted with pork meals which he re­fused to eat be­cause of his faith. He sur­vived on wa­ter.

Po­lice found him a few days later in Khayelit­sha. His three kid­nap­pers were ar­rested af­ter de­mand­ing a ran­som of R10m.

Po­lice have urged any­one with in­for­ma­tion re­lat­ing to the Ahmed kid­nap­ping to con­tact War­rant Of­fi­cer David Miles on 021 486 2840 or crimestop on 086 001 0111.

Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was bun­dled into a bakkie in Wood­stock.

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