Alleged kidnapping mastermind behind bars,10 victims rescued

News South Africa

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The Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, 10 February 2022 remanded Dilpazeer Azam, a 39-year-old Pakistani national in custody. He is alleged to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of 10 foreign nationals in Polokwane in January 2022.

Azam was arrested in Centurion on Sunday, 6 February 2022 during an intelligence-led operation.

Police Spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda said the suspect first appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 8 February 2022 where his case was transferred to the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. “Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspect was making calls to the families of the victims demanding ransom.”

It is reported that on 26 January 2022 ten foreign nationals were travelling along the N1 from Musina when they were stopped by another vehicle. “The victims were allegedly loaded into another vehicle and were transported to Polokwane where they were allegedly handed to the suspect near the Peter Mokaba Stadium.”

On Thursday, 10 February 2022 the investigating team operationalised intelligence information which led them to a lodge in Bruma, Johannesburg where the ten victims were rescued unharmed.

The suspect will be back in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on 17 February 2022 where he will make a formal bid for bail.

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