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Police reservist arrested for kidnapping of CT businessman

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A police reservist from Goodwood was arrested on Thursday morning in connection with the kidnapping of a Lotus River businessman.

The South African man is the fifth suspect arrested in connection with the incident.

Ntombikhoni Mgxekwa, also a South African, and Pakistanis Haseem Khalied, Zibi Jahazab and Muhammad Yaqoob appeared in the Wynberg Magistrates Court on Thursday morning, where the matter was postponed to Tuesday to allow the men to obtain legal representation.

They are accused of kidnapping the Bangladeshi businessman from his eatery two weeks ago and demanding a ransom of R11m from his brother.

Two days after his disappearance police followed up on information which led them to Khayelitsha, where the badly beaten businessman was found inside a house.

Mgxekwa, Khalied and Jahazab were arrested on the property.

Yaqoob was arrested on Sunday in Eerste River. He is understood to have been identified from video footage of the kidnapping.

The suspect arrested on Thursday is believed to have been driving the car in which the kidnappers escaped.

Kidnappings ‘open secret’

Dozens of Bangladeshi businessmen crowded outside the court, demanding that the suspects remain behind bars.

They say their community has been targeted for years by kidnapping syndicates who hold them for ransom, using “dismissive” police as a guarantee that charges won’t be laid.

Businessman Jahanigur Hossain of Rylands said this has changed since foreign nationals held a meeting with police in Athlone last month to discuss their treatment as “second class citizens”.

“They used to treat us like we are nobodies, but after telling them how we feel, things are much better. We are very happy with how they are handling our brother’s case,” he said.

The kidnapping of foreigners, especially Bangladeshis, has been an open secret for years, Hossain said.

“We didn’t talk because the police didn’t take us seriously. They are much better now. Their service is top class. We are very happy,” he said, eliciting nods of agreement from the rest of the group.

“But SA citizens need to wake up. People don’t care because it’s not affecting them. But tomorrow they change their tactic and one of the people you love is taken. You need to be aware.”

[Source: News24]
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