Hawks could expand Sandra Moonsamy kidnapping probe beyond SA's borders

The Hawks may work with law enforcement agencies around the world following the bust of an international syndicate linked to the kidnapping of a Durban businesswoman.

On Friday, the Hawks confirmed that four people had been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of Sandra Moonsamy, whose abductors allegedly demanded R140m for her release.

Moonsamy was kidnapped in May on the M13 on Stapleton Road in Pinetown, while driving her black Range Rover. The Hawks confirmed that Moonsamy had been found alive in Witbank on Thursday evening.

Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi previously told News24 that Moonsamy had been "found bound in chains in Emalahleni and was subsequently rescued by an integrated team of the Hawks, assisted by Crime Intelligence, Gauteng Provincial Organised Crime members and Ekurhuleni metro police".

The Hawks also seized three luxury vehicles worth R3m, which are believed to have been "bought with the proceeds of crime", Mulaudzi says.

Four arrested suspects – aged between 30 and 34 -are expected to appear at the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday on charges of kidnapping.

Mulaudzi confirmed to News24 that an international syndicate is behind the kidnapping but said that more information would be revealed once the case was before the courts.

He added that one of the men arrested could be a senior member of the syndicate, but that this could not be confirmed at this stage in the investigation.

The syndicate behind Moonsamy’s kidnapping may be involved in the kidnappings of Pretoria businessman Omar Carrim and Joburg businessman Shiraz Ghatoo, which were reportedly linked to the case through evidence, The Saturday Star reported.

Mulaudzi could not confirm if the syndicate was linked to any other kidnapping cases.

The bust came after months of investigation by Hawks officers, Mulaudzi added, and that the Hawks had received information from a number of agencies, including a private investigator.

"We will be working with other agencies to link this case to any other cases … The process is underway and it's only a matter of time before we know if these suspects are wanted in Africa or Europe," he says.

"This case is going to get international interest."