Pakistani kidnap suspects face many charges

2008-05-15 00:00

Two Pakistani brothers charged with housebreaking and robbery were yesterday granted bail of R2 000, but were not released as they also face charges of kidnapping, extortion and armed robbery.

They are Atif and Ashar Shanim Cheema.

A third Cheema brother, Sajid, was allowed out on R2 000 bail.

Pietermaritzburg magistrate Kgotso Kgaile refused bail for co-accused Afsal Hishna, who claimed to be seeking amnesty.

The investigating officer, Inspector Frans Bezuidenhout, who has joined a national team to investigate an alleged Pakistani crime syndicate, said Hishna told him he entered South Africa under a fence and has lost his passport.

Bezuidenhout said Hishna and Atif Cheema broke into the house of Pakistani Arshid Mohamed and robbed him of R13 000. The other two Cheema brothers stood at the door and they all left together.

Hishna and Atif Cheema are also accused of the kidnapping of Jared Iqbal in Bulwer Street last year.

Iqbal was allegedly locked in a room for two weeks and robbed of R20 000.

They allegedly threatened to kill Iqbal in an attempt to force him to sign over his business to them.

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