'Kidnapped' Pretoria businessman has contacted his son
The family of missing Pretoria businessman Omar Carrim have revealed that he has made contact with his son‚ telling him he was fine but desperately needed his heart medication before hanging up.
His 49-year-old son‚ Abdulla‚ had stated that they had received many phone calls since his father went missing‚ but had not previously disclosed that one of these calls had been from his father‚ whose voice he had recognised.
“One of the calls was somebody pretending to be my father. The other call‚ I can confirm that it was my father‚” Abdulla said on Monday.
He had not hitherto revealed more about this call from his father as it was part of the police investigation. Abdulla said that it was only his father on the line and no one else.
“We have not heard anything from the kidnappers‚" he said.
Yusuf Abramjee‚ who is helping the family‚ said the call came through on Sunday.
He said Carrim assured his son that he was fine but he needed his chronic medication.
The frantic search for the 76-year-old prominent businessman started on Thursday evening when he failed to arrive at his Laudium home at his normal arrival time of 6:15pm. He vanished after leaving his Home Hyper store in Pretorius Street in Pretoria CBD that afternoon.
His burnt Mercedes Benz E300 was found on Friday along the R515‚ near Atteridgeville.
Gauteng MEC for Community Safety‚ Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane‚ said bones which were found near the car had been taken in for analysis on whether they were human or not.
She however said it was improbable that the bones would be those of Carrim as they were not burnt whereas his car was completely burnt out.
Malobane said police had also found Carrim’s spectacles and some papers with blood‚ saying tests were being conducted to establish whether the blood matched any samples from his next of kin.
She said police will work close with the two private investigators hired by the family.
“A team (of detectives) led by the national office is working on the case. The case has been ring-fenced as a priority case. Crime intelligence as well as other expert investigators involved in similar cases have been brought in to assist to crack the case‚” Nkosi-Malobane said.
She said they were dealing with a case of kidnapping as the people who attacked him would have just taken the car if it was a hijacking.
Pretoria central cluster commander Major-General Daniel Mthombeni said they were following up on all leads.
“At this stage we cannot say it is a work of a syndicate‚” he said.
The family has made a passionate plea for Carrim's safe return.