The Dhaka Tribune investigated the abduction of Bangladeshi business man Sharif Miah earlier this summer. Miah was abducted from Pretoria in June and a ransom was demanded from his family by a man speaking Bangla. Money was wired to South Africa and then a further ransom was demanded in Bangladesh. Miah was briefly allowed to speak to his brother, but remains missing. Two members of the kidnap gang have been arrested in Bangladesh, and one more in South Africa.

Miah’s case is sadly not as rare as it should be. Abduction gangs operate in multiple countries, including Iran, Iraq, Libya and Nigeria, often targeting expat workers who are perceived to have access to ransom money. Potential for corruption, weak rule of law, and a large diaspora provide fertile ground for kidnappings. Many go unreported, as families seek to resolve the situation without the involvement of law enforcement.

South Africa has witnessed many abductions like this. Four recent and similar cases –

  • Just over a week ago, Hossain Nahid was abducted from near his business in Johannesburg
  • In July, Zhaun Ahmed was abducted from outside his business in Cape Town
  • In December last year, Mustapha Goolam was abducted from outside his business in Cape Town
  • In November,  Naushad Deshmukh who was abducted from outside his shop in Cape Town

This IOL article details some other kidnap cases.

From the Dhaka Tribune

A Bangladeshi man was kidnapped in South Africa. What happened after will shock you

Sharif Miah, a Bangladeshi businessman in South Africa, was kidnapped from the streets of Pretoria on June 10.

The next day, Sharif’s family in Bangladesh received a phone call from South Africa. A man who spoke in Bangla said the family would have to pay Tk20 lakh if they wanted Sharif back alive.

Sharif, the owner of a super shop in Pretoria, has been living there for eight years.

Please click here to read more.


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