Police rescue 11 kidnapped Ethiopians from Johannesburg storage facility

Police have rescued 11 kidnapped Ethiopian men from a storage facility in Johannesburg.
Police have rescued 11 kidnapped Ethiopian men from a storage facility in Johannesburg.
Image: 123RF/scanrail

Suspected Ethiopian extortionists have been bust in Johannesburg for kidnapping fellow countrymen across SA.  

Western Cape detectives and their Gauteng counterparts rescued 11 men from a storage facility in Meadowlands during a raid early on Friday.

Police spokesperson Col Andrè Traut said five of the victims were kidnapped in different parts of the Western Cape.

“The unrelenting efforts of Western Cape detectives to fight extortion in this province were rewarded with the arrest of two suspects during the early hours of yesterday morning in Meadowlands, Johannesburg,” Traut said on Saturday.

“An intensive investigation into the circumstances of a kidnapping case where an Ethiopian national was kidnapped in Harare [in Khayelitsha] on September 16 led detectives to Gauteng where they continued their search for the victim following demands for ransom for the victim’s safe return.

“In Gauteng our detectives partnered with Meadowlands police and conducted a raid at a storage facility in Hennessey Street in Meadowlands where a total of 11 kidnapped Ethiopian males were found.

“Five of the 11 victims are from the Western Cape. Two were kidnapped in Harare, two in Paarl and one in Worcester. The other six victims are from other provinces, and they were reunited with their respective families.”

Traut said the victims have been reunited with their families.

He said two Ethiopian suspects, aged 20 and 23, “who were guarding the storage facility at the time of the raid were arrested and detained”. He said they would appear in court on Monday then be taken to the Western Cape.

“The circumstances surrounding the extortion and kidnapping cases are still under investigation and the identities of the victims are not disclosed at this premature stage,” said Traut.