Nigerian kidnap case postponed

2010-06-10 18:17

Johannesburg - The court case of six Nigerian nationals accused of kidnapping and torture was postponed in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday, the SABC reported.

Michael Okorie, Chibueze Ulungu, Uche Chikwuemeka, Kingsley Obi, Chika Uluku and Michael Dara appeared briefly in court and had their case postponed to June 26.

The six faced charges of kidnapping, torture, assault and extortion.

They were arrested in a police operation in Kensington on May 27 for allegedly luring international businessmen to South Africa, holding them captive, torturing them and extorting their money.

During the operation, police rescued a 58-year-old Brazilian businessman from a house in the suburb, Hawks spokesman Musa Zondi said.

A 51-year-old South Korean businessman, the president of a global shipping firm, was held at the same house for five days. He was released on May 19 after his company paid a ransom of $70 000.

Police had been watching the house and raided it to rescue the Brazilian man, said Zondi.

"The businessman, who believed that his days were numbered after his captors threatened to kill him, was relieved to find the police coming in.

"He broke down a few hours, later relieved that his ordeal was over."

The Brazilian was "badly burnt on his stomach, chest and feet" with a hot iron.