Police in Mpumalanga have rescued a kidnapped foreign national from Pakistan, but the kidnapper escaped after a dramatic car chase near Valencia, Mbombela (Nelspruit).
Recounting events leading up to the rescue, Brigadier Selvy Mohlala said police in Mpumalanga through their counterparts in Nelspruit and Crime Intelligence conducted their ad hoc operation on Thursday.
“The Police received information regarding a kidnapping which was reported at Johannesburg Central Police Station involving a human trafficker based in Mpumalanga in Malelane and Valencia,” said Brigadier Mohlala.
The Information further indicated that two Pakistani nationals – who have not been named – were trafficked to South Africa through Malawi and Mozambique.
Upon arrival in South Africa, the two Pakistanis were held hostage and a ransom was demanded from their families.
The family of one of the Pakistanis paid an undisclosed amount of money for his release.
The other family opted to report the kidnapping at the Johannesburg Central Police Station.
“Information was followed up and the kidnapper was spotted near Valencia,” recounted Brigadier Mohlala.
“A hi-speed chase ensued and the kidnapper escaped.
“With the assistance of a tracking company the kidnapper’s vehicle was located in the basement parking of iLanga Mall.”
Brigadier Mohlala said the vehicle was seized by the police.
The trafficker is still at large, however, his identity is known to the police.
He is known as a businessman in the Schoemansdal area.
“A safe house where the victims were held was identified and led to the arrest of an undocumented Pakistani national who was identified by one of the victims as the safe housekeeper, responsible to allow them to communicate with their families,” said Brigadier Mohlala.
“The Provincial Commissioner of the South Africa Police Service in Mpumalanga Lieutenant General Semakaleng Manamela has appreciated the dedication of the members for freeing the kidnapped person.”