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Lentswe, Stilfontein - The second kidnapping for ransom in as many weeks in the Stilfontein/Khuma area brought together a specialised team consisting of hostage negotiators, police officers, the air wing and private security firms working around the clock to bring the kidnappers to book.

The latest drama started in the early hours of Saturday May 4, when a 23-year-old man was kidnapped outside the Blue Moon nightclub by armed men driving a Nissan vehicle. His vehicle, a VW Polo was also stolen during the kidnapping. It didn’t take long for the kidnappers to make contact and they demanded ransom from the victim’s family or their loved one would be killed.

Col Adéle Myburgh said this set in motion a diverse team comprising police officers and security officials from two provinces. “The hostage negotiators agreed upon a drop-off point for the ransom to be paid on Sunday afternoon May 5. The team tactically kept observations until a Mercedes Benz was spotted on the N12 close to Fochville. After they picked up the money, the police moved in and shots were fired when the suspects sped away from the scene. They came to a halt and tried to flee on foot but were arrested.’’

One of the suspects (40) was injured and taken to hospital where he is under police guard. The police recovered the ransom money and seized the suspects’ vehicle and a firearm.

“After the arrest, the kidnapped victim was dropped off unharmed at Doornkop police station. One suspect (33) is expected to appear in the Stilfontein Magistrate’s Court this week,’’ said Col Myburgh.

The Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Sello Kwena, lauded the team for working around the clock to arrest the suspects and confiscate an illegal firearm. He said the arrest will send a strong message that criminal activities will not be tolerated.