5 arrested as kidnapped Newcastle girls found

2018-05-22 14:09
Five people have been arrested after three children were kidnapped for ransom . (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

Five people have been arrested after three children were kidnapped for ransom . (Duncan Alfreds, News24, file)

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Five people have been arrested after three children were kidnapped for ransom in Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, police said on Tuesday.

Spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said six children were being driven to school in Madadeni, Section 7, on Monday morning. Their driver stopped after someone told him there was something wrong with one of his tyres.

"When the driver pulled over at [the] school to inspect the tyres of the vehicle, he was confronted by the suspects who threatened him with firearms," said Mbhele.

"The driver was pulled out of the vehicle and the suspects fled in the complainant's vehicle with three children still inside."

The driver had been using his uncle's car.

Relative suspected

Police sprang into action in a joint operation led by Newcastle family violence, child protection and sexual offences unit commander Captain Nagesh Moothilal, the Newcastle K9 unit and Madadeni police officers.

They tracked the children down to a house in Osizweni, about 25km from Newcastle, where they were being held hostage and rescued them.

Five people between the ages of 20 and 70 were arrested, and an unlicensed pistol and the hijacked vehicle were found.

Mbhele said it was believed that one of the suspects who orchestrated the carjacking and kidnapping is a relative of the victims while another is a close family friend.
The five will appear in the Madadeni Magistrate's Court on Wednesday on charges of carjacking, kidnapping and possession of an unlicensed firearm and human trafficking.

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