AA’s Rem-i Amica plays major role in rescue of Boksburg businessman

The tracking capabilities of the Automobile Association’s (AA) Rem-i Amica personal security device played a major part in the safe recovery of a foreign national abducted from his business this past weekend. The man was taken from his business in Boksburg on Saturday afternoon (SUBS:: 14 August) and found a day later in Vosloorus.

On Saturday afternoon the CASi call centre, part of the AA’s emergency response services operation, received a panic distress signal from the `Rem-i Amica standalone GMS-enabled device. Armed response services in the area were immediately dispatched to the location but live updates indicated that it was on the move. Security personnel tracked the live location, but the device was found discarded on a dump site in Vosloorus.

A second panic distress signal was sent from this site, presumably moments before it was discovered by the criminals and discarded.

“The trail went cold from there and it became imperative that a review of the device’s history was needed. During this time we also alerted other security providers in the area to be on the lookout for recently stolen or hijacked vehicles, all in an attempt to secure the safe return of the victim,” says Jaco de Villiers, CASi Managing Director.

“We performed an analysis of the device’s movements from the moment the original panic was sent, to the second panic, and to when the trail went cold. During the analysis we discovered that the device – although rapidly on the move – was stationary at a specific location for about two minutes. This was neither the victim’s home nor work address and provided an important clue, which we shared with Crime Intelligence,” says De Villiers.

Crime Intelligence used this information and on Sunday afternoon a team consisting of members of private security companies, the National Anti-Kidnapping Task Team, the SAPS Special Task Force, the Johannesburg Metro Police’s K9 Unit, the Gauteng Provincial Investigation Unit, and the Ekurhuleni South Hostage Negotiation Team stormed a house in Vosloorus where they secured the victim.

Four suspects were arrested during the raid.

“Personnel security is no longer a luxury and every single South African should have access to some form of emergency response whether it’s through a mobile phone or a standalone device. This incident again proves the need to take charge of personnel security as a priority because of the benefits it can have. Without the critical information we received from the victim’s Rem-i device he may not have been found. We are grateful, though, that he had such a device which enabled us to play such an important role in his recovery,” says Willem Groenewald, CEO of the AA.