Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk said the alleged kidnapping incident was reported on Thursday.
He said following the kidnapping report, crime intelligence, and the Knysna station commander, with local detectives, investigated the matter and, through the networking of sources and contacts, identified who the suspects were and where they were keeping the victim.
“The suspects had also demanded money for the release of the victim.
“All intelligence was coordinated and an operational team, comprising of Knysna Crime Prevention Unit and Flying Squad members, was deployed to a house in Robololo Street, Knysna. The Malawian victim was found and brought to safety. During the search, 70gm of tik and 156 mandrax tablets to the value of R33 860 were seized,” said Van Wyk.
He said after interviewing the victim and one of the suspects at the police station, a follow-up operation was conducted at the premises of one suspect, a foreign national of Nigerian descent, where 7,500 mandrax tablets and 1.5kg tik, with an estimated value of R502 500, was discovered.
“The drug consignment was seized and handed in as exhibits. Cash to the value of R20 000, believed to be the proceeds of crime, was also found and confiscated.
“The four suspects, being an adult foreign national male, two South African males, and one South African female were arrested on charges of kidnapping, extortion, and dealing in drugs. They will appear in court once charged,” he said.
In the Eastern Cape, police said a 33-year-old man was arrested and drugs worth R700 000 were confiscated in Mthatha.
Spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said Tactical Response Team (TRT) members followed up on information received about a suspicious person driving a silver Toyota Etios.
“The vehicle was spotted in Nelson Mandela Drive and stopped. The driver from Gqeberha was alone and the vehicle was thoroughly searched. A substantial amount of money was found on the passenger seat. A further search resulted in the discovery of a huge consignment of mandrax tablets found hidden in the door panels of the vehicle.
“A total of 8,928 mandrax tablets with an estimated street value of R700 000 was confiscated. The vehicle was also impounded for further investigation,” said Naidu.
The suspect is expected to appear in the Mthatha Magistrate’s Court tomorrow.
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