Mapping the businessmen who have been kidnapped in SA since 2015

2018-07-17 08:36
Missing Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker. (Supplied)

Missing Cape Town businessman Liyaqat Parker. (Supplied)

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Kidnapping wealthy businessmen in South Africa continues to be a profitable activity for criminal 'syndicates' as they become more brazen. Sources with links to Crime Intelligence say they suspect the same syndicate is involved in a recent spate of kidnappings because of the criminals' modus operandi. The apparent surging numbers of business kidnappings have been highlighted in a report this year by London-based risk management company, SI Risk. News24's Jenna Etheridge pieces together the cases we know about across the country.

It has been more than a week since Parow businessman Liyaqat Parker went missing. Western Cape police say their investigation continues and that there is "no new information to share with media at this stage".

Parker's case follows at least 14 similar cases that authorities recorded since 2015. At least one businessman ended up dead, while Parker and at least two others remain missing.

The actual number of these types of situations could be much higher as it is understood that many kidnapping cases are dealt with privately and are never reported to the police because of threats. 

The SI Risk report places SA at the higher end of the risk scale for kidnappings across the globe. It states that the cases predominantly affect the country's "South Asian business community", with Bangladeshi, Pakistani and Indian nationals and their descendants making up some 90% of the victims.

The report refers to a trend of copy-cat kidnappings typically executed by street criminals or loosely organised gangs.

"In some ways, these copy-cat kidnappings can be more dangerous than the high-profile, targeted abductions carried out by international syndicates from which they take inspiration, as the inexperience of the opportunistic perpetrators makes them inherently more liable to rash and potentially fatal decision-making," it reads.

The SA Police Service has removed kidnapping as a category in its crime statistics, which makes it difficult to keep an eye on trends.

The map below plots cases which have been reported on by News24 and/or recorded by authorities:

Read more on:    crime

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