Did Moti family pay a R50-m ransom for the release of kidnapped children?

There’s been another kidnapping, this time of an 8-year-old girl outside her school in Mayfair, Johannesburg, writes Al Qalam and News 24

The Modi family has denied media reports that a R50-million ransom, allegedly “paid in bundles of cash”, is what secured the release of the four Moti brothers who had been kidnapped, presumably by an organized criminal ring.

Meanwhile, News24, said its impeccable sources had confirmed that a huge ransom had been paid.

“Three impeccable sources, two of whom are in law enforcement with intimate knowledge of the investigation, said the ransom assured the safe homecoming of the boys,” it said.

After the payoff was made, brothers Zia, 15, Zayyad, 11, Alaan, 13, and Zidan, 7, were left at the roadside in the village of Masia Tshikwarani in Vuwani, Limpopo, last week. 

The Moti family, through spokesperson Keshia Patchiappen, denied that a ransom was paid.

Meanwhile, News 24 also reported that an 11-year-old schoolgirl has been kidnapped, barely a week since the Moti brothers were reunited with their family.

Crime expert and owner of investigations and risk consultancy D&K Management Consultants, Kyle Condon, said the increase in child abductions and kidnappings seemed to be caused by the perpetrators’ lack of respect for the law.

On Wednesday, a Grade 5 pupil was abducted by three men at gunpoint from EP Bauman Primary School in Mayfair.

According to the Gauteng education department, the incident occurred at 07:11, while the 8-year-old-girl was waiting to be sanitised and screened outside the school gate.

The perpetrators were reportedly driving a new-shaped silver/white Toyota Yaris with the registration number JS 62 CS GP.

Crime expert Guy Lamb said there had been several kidnappings in different parts of the country, but there was not yet a clear trend or a pattern.

Lamb said the Mayfair child’s kidnapping appeared to have been orchestrated by a criminal group.

Meanwhile, well-known anti-crime activist, Yusuf Abramjee, has appealed to President Ramaphosa to intervene.

In a twitter feed, he wrote: “President Cyril Ramaphosa must intervene now and get the SA Police Services to act. Criminals are getting away with it. Police inefficiencies are contributing to the problem. These gangs are running amok. International law enforcement must also be brought in.”

In a TV interview, Abramjee said – from his experience – many of the families pay quietly without informing the SA police Services. Once the ransom was paid, the victims’ families refuse to engage with the police. “No wonder many of the criminal syndicates get away with the cash because they are too scared to engage with the police or take the matter further,” he said.

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