10 abducted Bangladeshis were rescued in South Africa. A 39-year-old Pakistani national who is believed to be the mastermind behind foreign national kidnappings, was also arrested in this connection.
Dilpazeer Azam was arrested on 6 February during an intelligence-led operation that included Crime Intelligence, Gauteng organised crime officers, Johannesburg’s K9 Unit, the Gauteng hostage negotiating team, the Ekurhuleni police department’s SWAT team, and private security companies.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda said Azam appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on 8 February 2022, where his case was transferred to the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court.
Sketching the background, Netshiunda said 10 Bangladeshi men were travelling along the N1 from Musina on 26 January when the occupants of a vehicle stopped them.
“The victims were allegedly loaded into another vehicle and were transported to Polokwane where they were allegedly handed to the suspect near the Peter Mokaba Stadium,” Netshiunda said.
He added that the investigating team received intelligence information which led them to a lodge in Bruma, Johannesburg, where the 10 men were rescued unharmed.