Family in R1.5m ransom terror

Gareth Wilson

A BANGLADESHI businessman living in Port Elizabeth has told of his dramatic escape from a gang of Pakistanis who kept him shackled in captivity for 3½ weeks whilenegotiating a R1.5-million ransom.

Korsten shop owner Altaf Hamad, 30, was kidnapped last month and driven to Durban’s Wembezi informal settlement where he was held hostage until his escape on Saturday.

Yesterday, the father of two described how he was tricked by a Pakistani “wholesale merchant” into getting into his car, beaten, drugged and spirited out of the city. Negotiations involving his wife and other members of his family were kept secret by police for fear he would be tortured and eventually killed.

Police said the kidnappers were believed to be part of an international crime syndicate extorting money from foreign nationals in South Africa.

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