Indian-origin woman charged with perjury for faking kidnapping in S.Africa

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Johannesburg, April 7

A 47-year-old Indian-origin in South Africa has been charged with perjury for faking her own kidnapping and demanding 2 million rand ransom from her husband.

Firoza Bee Bee Joseph from Phoenix, north of Durban, was tracked down in a hotel room in Pietermaritzburg, by investigators.

She was charged with "defeating the ends of justice" and has been placed on bail until her next court appearance on June 7, said Natasha Kara, a representative for the National Prosecuting Authority.

Joseph was arrested earlier this week after police investigations proved her version of events was not entirely accurate.

Her husband received a call on Monday saying she was kidnapped and pleaded with him to deposit an undisclosed amount of money for her release, said police spokesperson Colonel Robert Netshiunda.

There was a ransom demand for 2 million rand, according to the charge sheet.

Her husband received another call from a man who threatened to hurt the woman if the money was not paid, Netshiunda said.

As investigations proceeded, police found footage of Joseph at a casino in Pietermaritzburg, some 80 km from Phoenix, after the ransom calls were made.

Further probe led police to locate Joseph from a bed and breakfast facility in the city, where she had checked in under a different name.

She was also found in possession of all her jewellery, which she claimed was taken by the kidnappers.

Joseph was granted bail of 3,000 rand and the matter was postponed to June 7 for further investigation.

--IANS

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