Friday, 15 April 2022 12:50

Seven more suspects nabbed over links to kidnapping mastermind Charloos.

Staff Reporter.

At least seven suspects have been arrested for intimidation, extortion and impersonating police officers in Lenasia.

The suspects were handcuffed in two separate sting operations on Wednesday and Thursday.

It is believed that the suspects are also allegedly linked to the spate of kidnappings plaguing the south of Johannesburg, including Lenasia.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said three of the suspects have already appeared in court.

"Ismail Salmo Mbendane (44), Imraan Sahim (42) and Bilal MIA (36) were arrested for extortion and have appeared before the Alexandra Magistrate's Court.They were remanded in custody and their case was postponed to 22 April 2022. Another 60-year-old suspect was arrested today and will appear in court on Tuesday next week. They are facing charges of extortion, "said Netshiunda.

Police raided four residential addresses in Lenasia where a number of illegal firearms, ammunition and blue police lights were found.

"Police arrested three more suspects who will appear in court on Tuesday. The seventh suspect was arrested on Thursday afternoon at his Lenasia residential address, after police also linked the accused to the syndicate."

Details of the seventh suspect have not been disclosed but the source confirmed that the elderly businessman had strong ties with Mozambique kidnapping kingpin, Faizel Charloos.

Charloos was arrested on 18 March with five other suspects, including his wife, Sadiya.

During the police raids in houses in Lenasia, Lawley, Brackenhurst and Benoni, which are allegedly linked to Charloos and three of his alleged accomplices, police rescued kidnapped Gauteng businessman, 34-year-old Luqman Kazi.

Two other suspects, 23-year-old Saadia Rasool and her 31-year-old husband Ahmed Kazi, were handcuffed by a multi-disciplinary team due to their alleged links to Charloos.

During their arrest, police seized approximately R395,000 believed to be ransom money from the families of victims.

Rasool's father, 47-year-old Ebrahim Seedat, who is a senior member of the Lenasia Community Policing Forum (CPF), was also arrested, but charges against him were dropped.

Charloos'wife and Rasool were denied bail in the Protea Magistrate’s Court earlier this month while all the male suspects abandoned their opportunity to apply for bail when they appeared in court.

All the accused have been remanded in custody.

In a statement, the Gauteng Province Community Police Board has condemned the epidemic of kidnappings for ransom across South Africa and assured that Crime Intelligence is making strides in the investigation and dismantling of these syndicates.

The board also urged the community to abide by the law and follow existing channels of complaint in respect to CPF members and any criminal conduct.