South African man who kidnapping of 10 foreign nationals remanded in custody

The Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on Thursday remanded in custody a man who is alleged to be the mastermind behind the kidnapping of 10 foreign nationals in the city in January 2022.
Police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Robert Netshiunda, said Dilpazeer Azam, a 39-year-old Pakistani national, was arrested in Centurion on Sunday during an intelligence-led operation comprising members of National Crime Intelligence, Head Office Organised Crime and Gauteng Organised Crime, Johannesburg K9 Unit. The Gauteng Hostage Negotiating Team, Ekurhuleni Police Department SWAT and private security companies were also part of the operation.
He said the suspect first appeared before the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday where his case was transferred to the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court. “Preliminary investigation have revealed that the suspect was making calls to the families of the victims demanding ransom,” he said.
It is reported that on 26 January 2022, ten foreign nationals were travelling along the N1 from Musina when they were stopped by another vehicle.
“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.”
On Thursday, the investigating team operationalised intelligence information which led them to a lodge in Bruma, Johannesburg where the ten victims were rescued unharmed.
Netshiunda said the suspect would be back in the Polokwane Magistrate’s Court on 17 February 2022 where he will make a formal bid for bail.
Police investigations are continuing and more arrests are imminent, he said. – SAnews

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