Kidnappers Get More Than They Bargained for

THE two convicted kidnappers (who are also cousins), whose ‘joke’ was to ransom their nine-year old victim for N$30 000 in Swakopmund during the 2011 December holidays, were sentenced to pay stiff fines for their crime.

Veyonne Beukes (23) and Dylan Stramis (18) of Windhoek were found guilty on charges of kidnapping and extortion in June in the Swakopmund Regional Court. They were sentenced last Friday by Regional Magistrate Gaynor Poulton.

Beukes was fined N$25 000 or three years imprisonment on kidnapping, and N$5 000 or one year imprisonment on extortion. Her cousin was fined N$10 000 or two years imprisonment for being an accomplice to kidnapping.

Both paid their fines on Friday. During their guilty plea in June, Beukes admitted that she was driving “aimlessly” in Swakopmund when she saw the girl riding with her bicycle in Vineta.

Beukes said she asked the girl to point out some coffee shops to her and Stramis, and that they had “no intention” of kidnapping the girl or holding her hostage for purposes of demanding ransom.

They ended up on the beach where they allowed the girl to phone her mother to inform her of her whereabouts. It was then, according to Beukes, that she jokingly told the girl to tell her mother that she would have to pay N$30 000 if the family wanted to see her again. “This joke eventually spiralled out of control,” she said in her plea.

Stramis also admitted that he was an accomplice in kidnapping the girl and did it out of his free will that he convinced the girl to drive and stay with them but that he was never aware of Beukes’ intentions.

Poulton was satisfied with their pleas and found them guilty. The girl’s father told The Namibian at the time that his daughter was riding a bicycle in Vineta with her elder sister (16) going to town to buy ice cream.

On their return, the elder sister left the girl to cycle home alone while she went to see a friend. It was then that the kidnappers approached their victim.

Source : The Namibian