There’s still no word on the whereabouts of Cape Town businessman, Mohammed Noor Karriem who was snatched this week, writes an Al Qalam Reporter
Yet another kidnapping of a prominent business tycoon in Cape Town has shaken the South African Indian business community yet again – this time Noor Karriem, 64, the owner of Giant Hyper in Epping was abducted after being forcibly dragged out of his car on Monday.
His abductors have reportedly demanded a multi-million rand ransom.
Anti-crime fighter & Activist, Yusuf Abramjee described the kidnapping of wealthy businessmen – many of them of Indian origin who were being targeted – as “very worrying”.
Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut, said there were no new developments. “The matter is still under investigation.”
The abduction comes on the heel of several such abductions by well-organised gangs operating in and outside of South Africa. Abduction for ransom has taken place in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. Many high-profile business owners have been gripped by panic following the latest abduction.
Karriem was abducted outside Sweets For Africa in Christian Avenue, Epping.
According to The Daily Voice, sources close to the family of Mohammed Noor Karriem have revealed that his kidnappers were demanding R20 million for the businessman’s release.
The paper reported that Karriem, who owns Giant Sweets and Sweets for Africa, feared being snatched like his friend and fellow businessman Liyaqat Parker, 65.
The insider said the abductors have contacted the worried family and negotiations were underway on Wednesday.
“The family wants to get this over and done with as soon as possible because Karriem is not in a good state,” the source said without elaborating.
In July last year, board member of Al-Amien Foods and a non- executive director of Bristone Investment Corporation, Parker, 65, was kidnapped by five unknown armed men at his business in N1 City, Parow. He was returned to his family in September.
In July 2017, Zhauns Business Opportunity Machines in Woodstock, owner, Sadeck Zhaun Ahmed was kidnapped by three armed men.
He was eventually released at the end of August that year.
Bangladeshi businessman Mustapha Goolam, from Lotus River, was kidnapped from Food Town in December 2016 and a ransom was reportedly set at R11million.
Goolam was found in Khayelitsha, severely beaten and traumatised, two days later.
Meanwhile, Community crime-fighter Hanif Loonat, who has been closely involved with the investigations said police should be speaking to businessmen who have been kidnapped.
“I am very disappointed that the previous victims are not prepared to come to the party and give information,” he said.
“They are sitting with the answers, they know why they were targeted and who is behind it.”
Abramjee urged the business community to pay special attention to their personal security.
“Police have not made any major breakthroughs for the major kidnappings we have seen in South Africa over recent years.
“These organized syndicates are cashing in millions of rands. The modus operandi in most seems to be the same. This indicates we are dealing here with one or perhaps two gangs.”
Abramjee said “wealthy business people of Indian origin were being targeted.”
He said a Johannesburg businessman formally from Mozambique was kidnapped some three months ago in Johannesburg and is still missing.
Earlier, a Durban businesswoman was kidnapped and she is also missing.
Abramjee said he has again asked the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, to intervene.
“I don’t know the specifics of the latest Cape Town case but it appears he was taken with the same modus operandi of other cases.”
Abramjee said the kidnapping gangs were “dangerous and ruthless.”
He refused to comment further saying “kidnapping investigations are sensitive.”