Kidnappings: KZN police still searching for mysterious red container

2012-10-02 00:00

POLICE in Kwazulu-Natal are still on the hunt for a mysterious red shipping container in which 11 women, one believed to be dead, are allegedly being kept for ransom and sex.

The SA Police Service is on a nationwide manhunt for a gang of men — foreign nationals and South Africans — who are holding the women somewhere in KZN.

But information is thin on the ground. Their only witness is an Nkandla woman who was rescued last week in Pinetown after a sting operation was conducted by the Eshowe SAPS. She claimed to have seen very little and could not even give a vague description of where she was being held.

SAPS spokesperson Colonel Vincent Mdunge said that although they are not doubting that the victim was indeed kidnapped and raped, it is still a mystery where she was held and the whereabouts of the other women.

“We have gone through the missing persons reports to see if we can find a pattern, but these can still be misleading for a number of reasons.

“We are making an appeal to the community to please come forward if any family member has been missing since or after September 12. Currently we don’t know where this container is,” said Mdunge.

“The modus operandi she has described as having her face covered is a technique used in West African kidnappings; therefore she cannot give us an idea of just where she was being kept,” said Mdunge.

“We have lots of investigative skills that we are putting to use. We are not at a dead end and are doing the best we can,” he said.

The Weekend Witness quoted Mdunge as saying the police would not entertain the possibility that the kidnapping claim was a hoax or a plot by the Nkandla woman to siphon money out of her family.

The Weekend Witness confirmed that a further two people had seen men, possibly her captors, escorting her into the Postbank in Pine­town on two separate occasions to withdraw the ransom money.

It was during the second withdrawal that the Nkandla victim was rescued.

She went missing on September 12 and claims to have been kept locked in a container with several other women and tied to chairs naked and repeatedly raped.

The Special Task Force and a number of specialist units including the Provincial Tracking Team and the National Intervention Unit are, according to Mdunge, “thick on the ground” spreading across the province.

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