Manhunt on for kidnapping gang

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Wesselsbron police are still searching for seven men who were involved in a kidnapping gone wrong, leaving the victims and one suspected kidnapper dead on Sunday night.

Police spokesperson Capt Stephen Thakeng said seven men armed with handguns approached a house in Wesselsbron early in the evening. He said six people – three women, two men and a child – were in the house when the men entered and demanded R45000 in cash. “They were held hostage for almost three hours when another relative arrived at the house.

The relative was also held hostage and money was demanded from him,” Thakeng said. He said the relative told the kidnappers that his brother in Odendaalsrus, about 40km away, might have the money and they drove to him. “When the kidnappers departed from Wesselsbron to Odendaalsrus, they stole a black sedan Yaris and navy blue Polo Vivo. “On their arrival in Odendaalsrus, the victim was instructed to phone his brother while they were outside the house and tell him to bring R45000 in cash or else he would be killed.” Thakeng said the brother pressed the panic button and called the police and private security responded swiftly.

“When the police arrived, the suspects drove off with the victim. The Yaris was found abandoned with the victim shot dead inside the car. “Apparently the driver, while speeding off from the police, crashed into the house of a well-known pharmacist in Odendaalsrus and sustained head injuries.” Eyewitnesses said a silver BMW with the registration number FRS 685FS arrived at the scene and drove off with the injured suspect.

“After a preliminary investigation, the same silver BMW was seen at Bongani Hospital dropping off the injured suspect to be treated but he later died. A Polo Vivo is still missing and a massive manhunt has been launched to trace the suspects.” Thakeng said anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the suspects should contact Det-Const James Letube at 072 237 6516.

-Becker Semela|