Pietermaritzburg – Kidnappers’ cravings for KFC and a substance believed to be cocaine offered a Kokstad man a window of opportunity to escape from their clutches.
And a relieved Chen Lin, 48, is very clear where his help came from: “I thank God and the drugs that saved me from the kidnappers,” he said after the ordeal.
Lin was kidnapped by four armed men while he was on his way back from taking his children to school on Monday morning. He was at the gate to his home at a block of flats when four men armed with guns held him up and forced him into a car.
Lin said they drove to Bizana in the Eastern Cape, then turned into a gravel road near the Wild Coast Sun Casino. They stopped in a forest where they took his phone and called his wife in Kokstad, demanding a ransom of R2m.
Lin was kept in the forest overnight. The following day, two of the men complained they were hungry and half of the team were sent off to buy KFC in Bizana.
In a bizarre turn of events, while the duo set off to buy food, the remaining two armed men who were meant to guard Lin, allegedly began to snort cocaine.
Lin described how a few seconds after their drug binge, the men started drooling and fell asleep, using their guns as pillows.
Noticing the men were in a deep slumber, Lin saw his chance to escape. He struggled to untangle his hands and legs but managed to free himself and ran for his life.
He said he ran for many kilometres, until he got to the R61 road where he frantically begged passing motorists for help.
Eventually a car stopped, and the driver took him to a nearby hospital and from there to the Mzamba police station.
Police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said police are trying to find the suspects because there is no doubt that they are dangerous to members of the community. He confirmed they are investigating a case of kidnapping.
Margi Flemmings of the Kokstad Chamber of Commerce has condemned the kidnappings.
“We are concerned about these kidnappings. It is obviously a concern for us, as businesses are the ones who seem to be targeted,” she said.