Kidnap victim rescued after Hawks arrest three suspects in Woodstock at the weekend

The watchful eye of the Hawks led to the arrest of three men for kidnapping. picture on file

The watchful eye of the Hawks led to the arrest of three men for kidnapping. picture on file

Published Jun 18, 2024


Cape Town - Suspicious banking activities and cellphone tracking led to the arrest of three alleged kidnappers in Woodstock at the weekend.

After receiving a complaint about a 50-year-old man’s abduction on Friday, Hawks detectives investigated the irregular banking activities and managed to track the suspects to a house in the neighbourhood.

Hawks spokesperson Zinzi Hani said three suspects between the ages of 33 and 37 years were arrested.

“The multi-disciplinary kidnapping team which comprises the Hawks’ Serious Organised Crime Investigation team, provincial Organised Crime, the Maitland Flying Squad as well as Sabric and the FIC arrested three kidnappers between the ages of 33 and 37 years as part of efforts to rid the state of crime.

“Upon receiving the information, an analysis was made linking the information to suspicious banking activities and transfer patterns by the suspects to various banks.

“This led the team to tracking the hostage’s phone, which was active in the Woodstock area. The team tracked the suspects’ location in Woodstock, where entry was gained into the premises. The team discovered the hostage tied up in the main bedroom. He was successfully rescued then taken to hospital for examination.

“Furthermore, the tracing later resulted in the arrest of two suspects who attempted to flee the scene on Friday. Further investigation led to the arrest of the third suspect on Saturday, who was hiding at a nearby residence in a backyard.

“The suspects will be appearing in the Cape Town Regional Court on charges of kidnapping and extortion,” said Hani.

Rob Marshall, the U-Watch Neighbourhood Watch secretary in Woodstock, said it was the first time such a crime had been reported in the area.

“With the limited facts available, the crime itself does not seem to be linked to any Woodstock resident.

“We would never expect such a crime to occur and consider it a onceoff. Members from SAPS and Hawks moved quickly and calmly from door to door until they found the correct address and accessed it swiftly, securing the scene and reassuring residents that there was no further risk,” Marshall said.

The neighbourhood watch urged residents to be cautious when letting strangers rent their houses.

“Always check their profile when booking online and be wary of people with no previous reviews or ratings.

“Woodstock enjoys an increasingly close and safe community. This one-off incident does not reflect the broader picture of life in our area.”