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Cartel Kidnappers Abduct Drug Dealer Near International Airport After Shady Fishing Boat Rescue

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Source: UNSPLASH

The suspects allegedly got out of their vehicle and pulled the victim from her vehicle and beat her in the street.

Jul. 8 2024, Published 12:30 p.m. ET

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A multi-million ransom is being demanded for Peter Jaggers, an alleged gang boss who was reportedly abducted by a Colombian drug cartel after traveling to Gauteng, South Africa, last week.

Jaggers, 43, is said to be linked to a vessel that encountered trouble off Cape Point, leading to the rescue of six supposed fishermen after the boat ran out of fuel. Among the rescued was one of Jaggers' relatives, whose identity remains undisclosed for safety reasons.

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According to an internal police report shared with the Cape Argus, Jaggers was last seen at Cape Town International Airport before traveling to OR Tambo International Airport, where he was allegedly picked up by foreign nationals. The kidnapping is believed to have occurred at the Emperors Palace Hotel in Kempton Park, near OR Tambo.

The kidnappers reportedly sent Jaggers' wife and relatives a voice message and photograph of him, demanding the return of "something which belonged to them." In a voice note circulating on social media, a man with a South American accent threatened, "Your husband is on his way to South America. You have 24 hours to return the stuff, or we will come after your families."

Police spokesperson Joseph Swaartbooi confirmed that a kidnapping case was registered at the Bishop Lavis police station on Friday. Jaggers' wife reported that he left home on June 30 and traveled to Cape Town International Airport on July 3. He was allegedly picked up by individuals from Bulgaria or Serbia and has not been seen since.

Willem Els of the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) indicated that the kidnapping method is typical of Colombian drug cartels, who often demand ransoms or take family members hostage to reclaim their illicit goods. He noted that South American criminal networks have established a significant presence in South Africa, particularly in the Western Cape.

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Els referenced a 2021 case at Saldanha Harbour, where R58 million worth of cocaine was seized, resulting in the conviction and imprisonment of three Bulgarian men. He explained that South Africa has become a key transit point for international drug cartels, who collaborate with local partners to facilitate their operations.

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The police have confirmed that the investigation is ongoing. "A case of kidnapping was registered at Bishop Lavis SAPS on Friday, and the docket will be transferred to the relevant SAPS office for further investigation," Swaartbooi said.

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