Gauteng police have made another breakthrough in the fight against kidnapping, after arresting a 43-year-old man purported to be linked to detained suspected kidnapping kingpin Faizal Charloos.
The suspect was handcuffed on Tuesday during an integrated intelligence-driven operation led by the National Counter Crime Intelligence unit.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said authorities received information about the suspect and pounced.
Charloos had a cellphone smuggled into his cell and was using it to communicate with his alleged accomplices on the outside, Netshiunda said.
“Intelligence information pointed the police to a residence in Lenasia where Charloos’ alleged accomplice was arrested. He was found in possession of a cellphone which preliminary investigations revealed that he was using to send money to Charloos via e-wallet and also make other payments as ordered by Charloos.”
“The suspect was also found in possession of a white Toyota Hilux affixed with false registration plates. Further investigations confirmed that the vehicle was hijacked in Lyttelton in July 2016. Police are following several leads and more arrests cannot be ruled out,” Netshiunda said.
Charloos was arrested on 18 March with five other suspects, including his wife, Sadiya, for their alleged involvement in a string of kidnapping cases and for terrorising businessmen in the Gauteng province.
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.
Netshiunda said at the time of Charloos’ arrest, police seized large amounts of cash and vehicles.
“Millions of rands believed to be ransom payments from the families of kidnapped victims, stolen and hijacked vehicles, some of them fitted with blue lights, police bullet proof vests and automatic rifles were some of the items seized from his residence.”
Netshiunda added that the 43-year-old suspect will appear in court soon.