Only in South Africa: Black Child arrested after faking kidnapping and demanding R7000 ($390) ransom from his mom
Pretoria – A 20-year-old Limpopo learner was arrested on Saturday, together with his friend aged 24, for allegedly faking a kidnapping and demanding R7 000 ransom from his family.
Brigadier Motlafela Mojapelo, provincial police spokesperson said on Friday, at about 7am, the 20-year-old learner left his home in Lusaka in Dennilton heading to school which is about 3km from his home.
“His mother became worried when he didn’t return home as usual and informed her husband when he returned from work.
“The husband was also surprised because he said he received several messages from his son’s number indicating that he must call him but when he called back, he didn’t answer,” Mojapelo narrated.
The worried couple then enquired about their son’s whereabouts from his classmates, who confirmed that he had not attended classes on Friday and the classmates had not seen him at school.
“Later, in the evening at about 8:15pm, an unknown person called the family using the supposed victim’s number and demanded R7 000, threatening to kill the victim if they failed to comply,” said Mojapelo.
The matter was immediately reported to police and a case of kidnapping was opened.
“Immediate action was taken by deploying a special team that included the SAPS hostage negotiators, for thorough investigation and possible arrest of the culprits. Investigation revealed that the victim was in Tafelkop under Motetema policing area,” according to Mojapelo.
“The team made observations at various homesteads in Tafelkop and the supposed suspect arrived at the scene and he led the team to where the victim (the missing learner) was.
“The victim was taken along with his 24-year-old accomplice for questioning. The duo was arrested after they confessed to have conspired and faked the kidnapping in order to get the money from the family”.
Meanwhile, provincial commissioner of police in Limpopo, Lieutenant General Thembi Hadebe has “strongly condemned” the incident.
“We are at times receiving reports of kidnapping and are obliged to act immediately by mobilizing resources as the safety of victims could be at stake.
“False reports put a lot of strain on police resources which could have been directed to deal with real incidents of crime and to victims who desperately needed police assistance," said Hadebe.
The two suspects will appear before the Mdutjana Magistrate’s Court in Siyabuswa on Monday, facing a charge of conspiracy to commit fraud and uttery.