A 25-year-old man in Cape Town has been arrested for allegedly staging his own kidnapping.
Cape Town man due in court for faking a kidnapping
According to Cape Town police spokesperson Captain Frederick van Wyk, the drama unfolded when the man’s brother, a foreign national, reported him kidnapped after receiving a ransom demand.
On the morning of Tuesday, 2 January 2024, the complainant left his home at David Venda Street, Betterlife, Philippi East for work, leaving his brother behind, “who was supposed to go and deposit rent money at Shoprite for the premises they are residing at.”
According to the brother who filed the kidnapping report, his phone was switched off for the day and, to his horror, “when he switched it on at about 18:00 he found a message indicating that his brother had been kidnapped and the suspects are demanding a ransom amount between R4000 and R5000 for his safe return.”
“They also said that they took the money and the cellular telephone of the captive and that they are in the Khayelitsha area,” Capt. Van Wyk revealed.
The plot thickened as the day progressed, with the complainant’s wife receiving a message from a different number, instructing her to deposit the ransom.
The demand escalated to R15 000, which the family eventually paid on Tuesday, 9 January 2024, through an e-wallet transaction.
However, the story took a dramatic turn the next day. The supposed captive returned home and confessed that the kidnapping was a hoax, concocted with a friend to extort money from his family.
He admitted to using the rent money for gambling.
The suspect is now detained at Philippi East Police Station and is scheduled for a court appearance at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Friday.