'We are following up on all leads' - family of abducted Anichka Penev appeal for an end to rumours

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  • The family of kidnapped Anichka Penev who was kidnapped in Cape Town are hoping for her safe return.
  • They say speculation in the media is "hurtful and very dangerous" and have appealed for an end to the rumours.
  • A ransom has been demanded for her return, according to a family member.

The family of Anichka Penev, who was abducted outside her workplace in Blackheath, Cape Town, on Thursday, say they are hoping and praying for her swift and safe return, and have appealed for an end to speculation.

A close family member who asked to remain anonymous told News24 on Sunday that speculation reported in the media was "hurtful and very dangerous" because they feared the kidnappers were following media reports. 

"All the incorrect allegations made with regards to a ransom being asked, the price Penev paid for her car and how much it cost the family to start up the business are just jeopardising the entire case," the family member said.

The relative said a ransom had been requested but added that the amount would not be divulged.

There was also a concern, according to the family member, that the police's 10111 emergency number was not working when members of the public tried to contact it to provide information.

READ | Gone in two minutes: Woman taken in broad daylight in yet another kidnapping in Cape Town

"We have been getting so many calls from people offering valid information that could've helped us when she went missing, but for some reason, the 10111 number doesn't seem to be working, which is very concerning.

"What we can say is that we are following up on all leads that will bring her back to us. We have faith that Anichka will be found safe and sound.

"We miss her dearly and are praying that she is safe and well looked after wherever she may be. We humbly request that speculation surrounding Anichka's disappearance is stopped so that the investigations can continue without any hindrance," the family member added.

Penev has been described as a "ray of sunshine who always had a smile on her face".

Asked to comment on the family's allegations about the 10111 emergency number, Western Cape police spokesperson Captain Frederick Van Wyk said: "Kindly be advised that the matter you are referring to is still under investigation, and there are no new developments to report at this stage."

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