64-year-old Noor Karriem is the latest Cape businessman to be kidnapped, with a spate occurring over the past few years.
As things stand, police haven’t given away too many details regarding the progress of their investigation, but it’s reported that Karriem was dragged from his car on Monday morning in Christian Avenue, Epping.
Karriem’s family have yet to release an official statement, and some activists point towards a rather worrying trend.
This from IOL:
In July last year, board member of Al-Amien Foods and a non- executive director of Bristone Investment Corporation, Liyaqat Parker, 65, was kidnapped by five unknown and armed men at his business in N1 City, Parow. He was returned to his family in September.
In July 2017, Zhauns Business Opportunity Machines in Woodstock owner Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was kidnapped by three armed men.
He was eventually released at the end of August that year.
There is also the case of Bangladeshi businessman Mustapha Goolam, kidnapped in December 2016 and found beaten and traumatised two days later in Khayelitsha.
According to Mike Bolhuis, a specialist investigator into serious, violent and economic crimes, these kidnappings could be the work of a highly orchestrated syndicate.
Again from IOL:
A syndicate comprising thugs who are Pakistani nationals, the underworld and bank informers meticulously scrutinise the financial affairs of some prominent businessmen before kidnapping them…
“We have investigated several cases since this trend emerged about three years ago. We know of one case where the ransom was paid to the syndicate in Dubai.
“Our investigation into such kidnappings revealed it is two-pronged.
“The one scenario is where wealthy businessmen’s financial accounts are monitored by the syndicate and if they notice that a businessman doesn’t declare taxes then they will target him.
The person is then kidnapped and left with no alternative but to pay or threatened to expose his alleged money laundering.”
Bolhuis added the other scenario is where the kidnapping is allegedly staged by the victim and family to get the money illegally out of the country instead of declaring it to the SA Revenue Service.
Whilst an arrest was made in the kidnappings of Parker and Ahmed, with alleged syndicate mastermind Momade Assife Abdul Satar arrested in Thailand, it’s feared that the syndicate may still have footsoldiers who carry out the kidnappings.
The investigation is ongoing, with Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut saying yesterday that “there are no new developments to report at this stage”.
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