Free State — The Hawks' Serious Organised Crime Unit assisted by Thabong Crime Intelligence, Welkom K9 Unit, Harmony Gold Mine Security and Bidvest Coin Security conducted an early morning raid that resulted in the arrest of nine individuals.
The nine suspects aged between 31 and 38 for were arrested on Friday morning pending alleged charges of kidnapping and theft of unwrought precious metal.
The integrated team concluded an intensive investigation early this morning that was originally initiated on Wednesday following the kidnapping of a 42 year old woman. She was allegedly held hostage and the suspects demanded a ransom for her release. The matter was reported to the Welkom SAPS and was immediately referred to the Hawks for further investigation.
On Thursday the team initiated an intelligence driven operation, keeping tabs on the numerous phone calls where the suspects demanded a huge ransom from the victim's husband. Taking cues from the team, the drop off was made in Welkom and the victim was released unharmed. The members continued to track the suspects and eventually arrested them in Welkom CBD and Ondendaalsrus respectively.
During the sweep, the members seized almost R1 million in cash, six vehicles and gold nuggets and. The suspects are set to make their first court appearance at Welkom Magistrate's Court on Monday, 12 November 2018. Investigations continue.