‘Bizarre’ events falsely link doctor to kidnapping of girl (10)

2011-12-02 00:00

A RICHARDS Bay man has — through a apparent turn of bad luck — been falsely implicated in the alleged abduction of a Durban primary school girl by her mother.

Dr Andrew Atuhaire, who has a medical practice in Richards Bay and owns a guest house in Meerensee, was registered as a suspect when a car bearing one of his vehicles’ registration numbers was used as the getaway car in the kidnapping.

On Tuesday morning a Durban woman, Carlene Raynard, removed her daughter Mckayla (10) from Seaview Primary School in Durban in a Corsa bearing NRB (Richards Bay) plates registered to a Meerensee home.

Although the plate was for a Toyota Hilux, Atuharie also owns a Corsa, albeit a different colour. In the initial stages of the investigation this raised suspicion for investigators.

“None of my vehicles left Richards Bay and neither is in a condition to do so. I have been really surprised about this,” said ­Atuhaire.

“I have been contacted by the police. Someone must have duplicated the plate from my vehicle as there is no other explanation,”

Staff members at the Meerensee guest house, who drive the Hilux and Corsa, found the whole incident bizarre.

Said a staff member, “The Hilux has been in the yard all day, and the security camera will confirm this, while the Corsa ran a few local errands.”

Police close to the investigation said it is “very likely” that the number was duplicated by the person driving the getaway vehicle, or that the witness who saw the vehicle drive away may have got a digit “or two” wrong.

“There are still unscrupulous number plate print operators allowing criminal elements access to fake plates,” said the source.

“We believe we know who the driver of the vehicle is.

“He is a former boyfriend from Durban who has ties in Cape Town.

“We will most likely eliminate [Atuhaire] as a suspect. Our main concern is to find this girl.”

A case of kidnapping has been opened at Bellair Police Station in Durban.

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