Business kidnaps - [Google Images]

Minister for Community Safety in the Western Cape, Dan Plato, has raised concerns following a number of high-profile kidnappings in the area.

In a statement released on Tuesday (10 July), Plato said that he was worried about the increasing number of kidnappings involving prominent business people in the province, which typically resulted in the extortion of large sums of money for their release.

He added that kidnappings in the province cannot become the new lucrative and profitable criminal venture.

“The recent kidnapping of Mr Liyaqat Parker has brought the number of apparent ransom extortion kidnappings to four cases over the last two years,” he said.

“Though this might not seem like a lot, the rand value money involved in the previous cases may be very lucrative if it is a lone syndicate operating, or might even seem enticing to those criminals always looking for the next opportunity.”

He said that members of the public and business leaders need to be assured that the police is doing everything in their power to prevent these kidnappings and to ensure those responsible face their day in court.

“We need to unmask those responsible and ensure they receive their day in court to face the full might of the law. This will unnerve those contemplating similar crimes, because they will be caught and will go to jail.

“I will use the audience I have with National Police Minister, Bheki Cele, later in the month to discuss this seemingly increasing trend, and possible measures both my department and the police can take,” he said.

He added that safety was the concern of all citizens, and called on the public to assist the police in their investigation.