Bangladeshi business owners say they are being targeted by a syndicate, following the kidnapping of two shop owners.
Nazrul Islam, 32, and Mahabub Rahman, 28, are recovering in hospital after they were allegedly abducted and moered in separate incidents.
Their kidnappers demanded ransoms of R800 000 and R4 million respectively.
Cops arrested five suspects in connection with Nazrul’s abduction earlier this month.
The suspects are expected to appear in court tomorrow for bail information.
Yesterday about 100 Bangladeshi’s protested outside the Athlone Magistrates’ Court, calling for the five suspects to remain behind bars.
A spokesman for the group, Rakib Hassan, 44, says the victims were tied up and assaulted.
“Nazrul was kidnapped [on September 9] on Friday morning while at a friend’s shop in Klipfontein Road [near Surrey Estate],” he says.
“They covered his mouth and told him to get into his car at gunpoint.
“The kidnappers also tied his arms and legs with chains and covered him with a blanket.
“When we heard about the kidnapping, we reported it to police.
“The kidnappers called his family and demanded a R800 000 ransom.
“Police were very quick to respond and they were very helpful.”
Cops’ quick response led to the arrest of the five suspects including the alleged mastermind, who is a Pakistani.
“Police found him in Philippi with his legs still tied.
“He is still in hospital now because they [suspects] made him drink something that made his kidneys collapse.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirmed the incident.
“Five foreign national males aged between 29 and 39 years old were arrested on charges of man stealing,” he says.
“They appeared in the Athlone Magistrates’ Court on September 6.”
Mahabub, a grocer in Bonteheuwel, was kidnapped about three weeks ago in Waterfront’s car park.
Rakib says the suspects involved in Mahabub’s kidnapping were arrested in Bangladesh.
“Mahabub was missing for a week and the kidnappers told his family they want R4 million but it must be handed over in Bangladesh.”
“Police in Bangladesh arrested the suspects there and later he was released.
“This is a syndicate and we are all scared. We don’t want these people to get out of jail. There are people from the Pakistani community who are supporting us. We all feel threatened,” he says.