Chinese National Kidnapped in Zimbabwe, 11 Suspects Arrested Including Cleric

Cheng Song, a Chinese national, was kidnapped in Harare, Zimbabwe by a group of 11 suspects who demanded a $120,000 ransom. Police rescued Cheng and arrested all suspects, highlighting security challenges for foreign nationals in Zimbabwe.

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Olalekan Adigun
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Chinese National Kidnapped in Zimbabwe, 11 Suspects Arrested Including Cleric

Chinese National Kidnapped in Zimbabwe, 11 Suspects Arrested Including Cleric

Cheng Song, a Chinese national, was kidnapped in Harare, Zimbabwe by a group of 11 suspects who requested a ransom of US$120,000 for his release. The suspects included Charles Motondo, a Congolese cleric, his girlfriend Primrose Miga, and two other Chinese nationals identified as Guo Zairen and Wang Gao.

According to police reports, the suspects confronted Cheng at a Chinese restaurant, asserting to be police officers. They handcuffed him and compelled him into a vehicle, leaving his friend behind. Cheng was taken to a house in Mandara, Harare, where the ransom request was made.

Cheng's cousin, Wang Yanan, contacted the police, who were able to locate and rescue Cheng after a high-speed pursuit. All 11 suspects were arrested and charged with kidnapping. Guo Zairen and Wang Gao were granted US$200 bail each by a Harare magistrate and were advised not to interfere with state witnesses. The suspects are set to appear in court on May 24 for the allocation of a trial date.

Why this matters: The incident highlights the ongoing security challenges and criminal activities targeting foreign nationals in Zimbabwe. It underscores the need for increased vigilance and cooperation between local authorities and foreign embassies to ensure the safety of expatriates living and working in the country.

Charles Motondo, the Congolese cleric involved in the kidnapping, was previously jailed in the UK for 10 months for fabricating car crashes to claim insurance money. "The suspects confronted Cheng at a Chinese restaurant, asserting to be police officers, handcuffed him, and took him to a house in Mandara, Harare, where the ransom request was made," a police spokesperson stated. The successful rescue operation and arrest of the suspects demonstrate the swift action taken by Zimbabwean police to combat such crimes and bring perpetrators to justice.

Key Takeaways

  • Chinese national Cheng Song kidnapped in Harare, Zimbabwe for $120,000 ransom
  • 11 suspects, including a Congolese cleric, arrested and charged with kidnapping
  • Cheng rescued after police pursuit, 2 Chinese suspects granted bail
  • Incident highlights security challenges for foreign nationals in Zimbabwe
  • Cleric involved had prior conviction in UK for insurance fraud