Kidnapped Koreans rescued in Johannesburg

2012-01-05 20:00
Johannesburg - A Korean father and his adult daughter were rescued by police on Thursday after they were kidnapped for ransom shortly after arriving in the country, police said.

Their kidnappers, five foreigners and a South African, were arrested and charged with kidnapping. They will appear in the Kempton Park Magistrate's Court on Monday, said SAPS spokesperson McIntosh Polela.

The 65-year-old man and his daughter, who is in her 30s, were lured to South Africa with a "419" scam. They apparently responded to an e-mail from the kidnappers who promised them tens of millions of dollars.

The Koreans were met at OR Tambo International Airport on Tuesday by a driver. They were taken to a house in Meadowlands in Soweto where they were held, with the driver, while the kidnappers demanded a ransom from their family in South Korea.

"They wanted $10m deposited into an account in Singapore," Polela said. "This was eventually negotiated down to $120 000."

The man's wife, in South Korea, contacted the South Korean embassy in South Africa. At the same time the driver escaped and alerted local police.

The rescue, in the early hours of Thursday, took place before the ransom was paid.

"The management of the SAPS would like to congratulate its members who were involved in the operation that saved the two South Koreans," Polela said.

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