Gang Kidnaps Chinese Businessman, Demands $120k Ransom

Gang Kidnaps Chinese Businessman, Demands $120k Ransom
Gang Kidnaps Chinese Businessman, Demands $120k Ransom

Africa-Press – Zimbabwe. Eleven (11) people, including two foreigners and a church bishop from Harare, have been arrested for allegedly kidnapping a Chinese businessman and demanding a US$ 120,000 ransom for his release.

The suspects, who posed as police officers, kidnapped the man before demanding US$ 120,000 ransom from his relatives.

The Herald identified the suspects as Guo Zairen (34), Wang Gao (40), Primrose Miga (34), Charles Matondo (46), Tonderai Naison Kaja (34), Charles Notice (34), Christopher Chirombe (34), O’brian Miti (31), Simbarashe Kumba (24), Carlington Konselia (28) and Oswel Tinotenda Tsikai (29).

They appeared before Harare magistrate Dennis Mangosi on Friday, 19 April, facing kidnapping charges.

The State opposed bail arguing that the suspects could flee the court’s jurisdiction.

Investigating officer, Detective Gentle Tapererwa, also said the 11 suspects were not proper candidates for bail. He said:

Some of the accused persons exhibited signs that they are capable of fleeing if freed since they tried to escape from police officers.

Magistrate Mangosi deferred the matter to Monday for bail ruling.

Allegations are that on April 17 at around 3 PM, the suspects hatched a plan to kidnap the complainant and demand a ransom.

Five of the suspects and Tendai Notice, who is still at large, went to a Chinese restaurant in Belgravia driving a white Toyota Fortuner whose registration numbers are unknown but was being driven by Guo.

They also had a Toyota Belta, whose registration number is also unknown, but was being driven by Tendai Notice.

The complainant, Cheng Song, was at the restaurant having lunch with his friend, Tu Muqing. Guo and Wang allegedly showed Kaja, Chirombe and Miti, the complainant who in turn confronted him and introduced themselves as police officers.

It is further alleged that the suspects then claimed that Cheng was under arrest, but did not notify him of his offence.

The suspects allegedly handcuffed him and forced him into their Toyota Belta and drove away, leaving Tu Muqing behind.

They took Cheng to House Number 1, Montenes Drive, Mandara, Harare, where Miga, Matondo, Kumba, Konselia and Tsikai were waiting for them.

Tu Muqing then phoned and informed Cheng’s cousin sister, Wang Yanan, that Cheng had been arrested by police officers.

Cheng also sent his Google Maps location to Wang Yanan, through a Chinese WeChat internet platform, seeking assistance from her.

Wang Yanan then contacted Superintendent Victor Phiri of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and sought assistance to be escorted to the said police station.

It is alleged that Supt Phiri met with Wang Yanan and on checking the Google Maps location, he discovered that there were no police stations close by.

In fact, Google Maps showed that the location was a place in a bushy area adjacent to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

The court heard that at that moment, Wang Yanan received a phone call on her WeChat platform from Cheng who told her that he was being held hostage by the suspects.

He said the “police officers” were prohibiting him from using ordinary voice calls or the WhatsApp platform.

Cheng further told her that the suspects were demanding a ransom of US$120 000, which was to be delivered to them promptly to ensure he was not going to be harmed by them, and eventually be deported.

It is further alleged that after about 15 minutes, the suspects used Cheng’s cell phone and contacted Wang Yanan and ordered her to drive to the Google Maps location.

Supt Phiri alerted CID Homicide Harare of the kidnapping and extortion and they swiftly reacted and waylaid the suspects at the given Google Maps location.

The court heard that Charles Notice, Chirombe, Konselia and Tsikai arrived driving a Toyota Fortuner, registration number AEN 4346 and ordered Wang Yanan to follow their vehicle and they drove off at high speed.

The detectives followed the suspects’ vehicle and drove along Arcturus Road, Greendale, and identified themselves as police detectives, before ordering them to pull over.

The suspects allegedly increased the speed of their vehicle to evade arrest, prompting the detectives to fire warning shots, but they continued driving at high speed.

This resulted in the police officers firing towards the vehicle, leading to the driver losing control and plunging into a ditch. They were then arrested.

The suspects led the police to House Number 1, Montenes Drive in Mandara where they found Cheng being guarded by some of the suspects.

He was then rescued by the police.

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