Cops crack in­ter­na­tional kid­nap syn­di­cate

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li­cences.

Law en­force­ment au­thor­i­ties should rather fo­cus their ef­forts on test­ing driv­ers around the coun­try more reg­u­larly and us­ing the same breathal­yser test across South Africa.

“The fo­cus should be on im­ple­men­ta­tion and mean­ing­ful pros­e­cu­tion,” she said. “If there are five mil­lion driv­ers in South Africa, there should be five mil­lion breathal­y­sers.”

Al­lie-paine said: “Our plans for the fes­tive sea­son in­clude tar­geted en­force­ment and smart polic­ing. We in­tend to de­ploy all our avail­able re­sources on a 24/7 (ba­sis) for 365 days a year. This will also be a drill and pre­cur­sor to the in­tro­duc­tion of the Aarto Act,” she said.

The de­part­ment was con­sid­er­ing a pro­posal to re­duce speed by 20km/h (if it was100km to 80km, if 60km to 40km and free­ways from 120km to 100km).

“Road ac­ci­dents are not only the re­sult of speed but sev­eral other fac­tors as well. Our road safety strat­egy has con­sid­ered all these fac­tors.

“Leg­is­la­tion is be­ing re­viewed to ad­dress and bring in place an ed­i­fice of var­i­ous in­ter­ven­tions to re­spond ad­e­quately to the chal­lenge that SA is fac­ing. Among these, a re­view of the in­ter­na­tional best prac­tice on speed re­duc­tions as is the case in coun­tries such as Swe­den and Aus­tralia. Due to the unique sit­u­a­tion in SA, these can­not just be im­ple­mented with­out an im­pact as­sess­ment study,” she said.

But Hen­nie Klop­per, an emer­i­tus pro­fes­sor in the de­part­ment of pri­vate law at the Uni­ver­sity of Pre­to­ria, has pre­dicted an in­crease of around 100 deaths over the fes­tive pe­riod.

Road safety ex­perts said there is very lit­tle ev­i­dence to sug­gest that the an­nual road death toll fig­ure will drop. They claim “driver at­ti­tude” and not “speed” is the real killer. Per­haps even more shock­ing, ac­cord­ing to Klop­per, is the R164bn price tag that road ac­ci­dents cost the SA econ­omy each year.

“If you look at the cost of ac­ci­dents and you look at the an­nual spend on road safety which is about R15 mil­lion, it’s no sur­prise that we still have these high road death toll fig­ures,” he said.

Road Safety Ac­tion Cam­paign founder, Richard Ben­son, said he had been call­ing for speed lim­its on the coun­try’s roads to be re­duced to 30km/h and 100km/h for years.

SHAUN SMILLIE

THE PO­LICE be­lieve they may have cracked an in­ter­na­tional syn­di­cate af­ter res­cu­ing Kwazulu-natal busi­ness­woman San­dra Moon­samy.

The crim­i­nals have been in­volved in a string of kid­nap­pings that net­ted them hun­dreds of mil­lions of rand.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors be­lieve the gang, caught in a sur­prise raid on Thurs­day night, were in­volved in the kid­nap­pings of Pre­to­ria busi­ness­man Omar Car­rim and Joburg busi­ness­man Shi­raz Gha­too.

This, ac­cord­ing to a source, af­ter the sus­pects al­legedly in­volved in Moon­samy’s kid­nap­ping were linked to other kid­nap­pings through ev­i­dence.

Moon­samy was res­cued by the po­lice in emalahleni af­ter 162 days in cap­tiv­ity and the break­through in the case, said a source, came weeks ago when ar­rests were made on an un­re­lated crime.

Hawks spokesper­son Bri­gadier Hang­wani Mu­laudzi said its in­ves­ti­ga­tors raced from Kwazulu-natal on Thurs­day af­ter “some­thing came up”.

Sup­ported by other SAPS units and

16/21º 14/29º

metro po­lice, the Hawks raided prop­er­ties in Honey­dew, Mamelodi, and emalahleni and ar­rested four men.

“The po­lice took the kid­nap­pers by sur­prise.

“This fol­lowed weeks of in­tense in­ves­ti­ga­tions by the Hawks,” said the source.

Moon­samy was found chained in a room in a lux­ury house, which was ap­par­ently be­ing rented by the gang. Firearms and lux­ury ve­hi­cles were seized.

The 46-year-old mother of two is now be­lieved to be in hospi­tal.

Min­is­ter of Po­lice Bheki Cele said,

“she is not in a very good con­di­tion, but we be­lieve she will be okay”. “More peo­ple are still wanted.” Hang­wani said one of the syn­di­cate’s king­pins was ar­rested in the raids.

“We are deal­ing with a syn­di­cate, we need to check them thor­oughly.

“They are not South African and we might have to work with other law en­force­ment agen­cies from around the world,” said Mu­laudzi.

The source said an­other king­pin was be­ing sought and there is the pos­si­bil­ity he might be out of the coun­try.

Over the past two years, a num­ber of wealthy busi­ness peo­ple have been kid­napped and the modus operandi in most of these cases were sim­i­lar.

The kid­nap­pers de­manded be­tween $1 mil­lion (more than R14m) and $3m, and forced the vic­tims’ fam­i­lies to pay the ran­som in Dubai, in the United Arab Emi­rates, at cash ex­changes.

Their vic­tims are of­ten kept in cap­tiv­ity for months.

Moon­samy, the daugh­ter of a Dur­ban lo­gis­tics ty­coon, went miss­ing on May 31 af­ter she was forced off a road in Pine­town, west of Dur­ban.

It is be­lieved the kid­nap­pers de­manded a ran­som of R140 mil­lion.

A mem­ber of the Car­rim fam­ily wel­comed the ar­rests yes­ter­day.

“We don’t know much but we are happy ar­rests have been made.

“Let’s give the cops the space to deal with it,” said the fam­ily mem­ber who didn’t want to be named.

“I have record­ings and the voice in the one call matches the voice in some of the cases where ran­som de­mands are made.”

Anti-crime ac­tivist Yusuf Abram­jee, who has been high­light­ing these cases, said the ar­rests on Thurs­day evening were sig­nif­i­cant.

“The kid­nap­pers have been get­ting away with it for years and I sus­pect the back­bone has now been bro­ken,” Abram­jee said.

The Hawks may have made a ma­jor break­through break­ing up a large-scale kid­nap­ping syn­di­cate, but there is con­cern for an­other Cape Town busi­ness­man, Noor Mo­hammed Kar­riem, who was kid­napped re­cently.

KID­NAPPED busi­ness­woman San­dra Moon­samy has been found. | SUP­PLIED

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