After being held captive for three gruelling weeks, a Mozambican man was released unharmed by his kidnappers on Saturday, the Lowvelder reports.
Abdul Mohsin Carimo vanished from Mediclinic Nelspruit on July 10, shortly after he became a father to a little girl.
According to his family, he went out for a coffee at around 10am on the fateful day and never returned.
Mbombela police spokesperson Captain Dawie Pretorius said Carimo was dropped off near I’langa Mall on Saturday morning. He said the abductors had asked the family for a ransom. The police could not confirm how much they had asked for.
“We know the family did not pay the ransom, but the kidnappers decided to release him,” Pretorius said.
He said the man was kept in a room and was blindfolded throughout the entire ordeal. “The victim said he didn’t know where he was as he couldn’t see due to the blindfold. All he could sense was that he was being kept in a small room,” said Pretorius.
On the day of his abduction, Carimo’s Mitsubishi was spotted on the R40 en route to Barberton.
An eyewitness, who is a gardener in the area, told the police he saw five suspects abandon Carimo’s vehicle and flee the scene with the victim in a white Mercedes-Benz Vito minibus with a Mozambican registration plate.
When security and police arrived at the scene, they discovered the birth certificate of Carimo’s newborn baby.
According to Pretorius, the victim was not physically harmed during his incarceration. He confirmed that no arrests had been made but police were continuing the investigation.
This was the second time a kidnapping, which has plagued Mozambique since 2011, has spilled over to Mpumalanga’s capital.
A family who resided in Mbombela and had businesses in the neighbouring country were also targeted by kidnappers when their son and his friend were abducted on November 19, 2013. The teens, aged 18 and 19, were kidnapped from a West Acres park.
These victims were also later released by their captors. Hi-Tech’s Security operations manager Nico Grobler said the kidnappers had panicked due to security and police being hot on their trail at that time, when the captors had demanded a ransom of US$1 million.
Over the years the abductions plaguing Mozambique had mostly targeted affluent persons of south-Asian descent.
During 2014 some of the kidnapping cases targeted broader groups, including prominent Mozambicans and foreigners.
Some wealthy families had taken their children out of schools and left the country, and many had relocated to Mbombela for fear of becoming victims.
– Caxton News Service