A Motherwell tavern owner is in hospital after he was abducted in an extortion scam that left his family R10 000 poorer.
The badly beaten 48-year-old man, who police declined to name, was found yesterday afternoon in the bushes along Perseverance Road, where he had been dumped by his five abductors, after his family finally turned to the police for help.
He was admitted to a Uitenhage hospital.
Police spokesman Captain Andre Beetge said the man had been enjoying a braai with friends in Koyana Road, Zwide, on Wednesday night, when a minibus stopped at about 8.30pm and a group of men jumped out and forced him into the vehicle and sped off.
“At 9pm, they phoned the victim’s brother in Humansdorp and demanded R10 000 for his release,” Beetge said.
“The brother, in a panic, contacted the man’s wife. The wife said that the last time she had heard from him was at 7pm.
“They reached an agreement with the abductors to pay the ransom money at about 9am over the counter at a Port Elizabeth retail shop.”
However, the abductors failed to release the tavern owner after the money was paid.
“The abductors then called back, wanting a further R5 000 for the man’s release,” Beetge said.
But the family did not have a further R5 000 and alerted the police instead.
Beetge said a team of detectives was formed and by late afternoon, through the use of tracking devices and informers, the badly assaulted tavern owner had been found.
“Naturally, he is rattled and shocked. Once he calms down and gets treatment we will know more,” he said.
Police are investigating a case of abduction, extortion and theft.