Six men have been jailed for more than 60 years after a man was kidnapped from a street in Luton last summer.
Mohammed Yousaf, 22, Muhammed Hussain, 25, Jalil Uddin, 40, Saqib Rehman, 20, Mitchell Malik, 21, and a 17-year-old boy were sentenced at Luton Crown Court today (Friday) in relation to a number of offences including kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail, after a man was kidnapped from Downs Road on Monday 20 June 2016.
Hussain was sentenced to 20 years, Malik to 15 years, Yousaf to 12 years, Uddin to eight years and three months, Rehman to three and a half years, and the 17-year-old boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, to five years imprisonment.
The group bundled the victim into the back of a car at gun point in the early hours of the morning, before taking him to an address in Ashburnham Road where he was held against his will for around 30 hours.
During this time the group made a number of calls to a friend of the victim, who they believed was responsible for stealing £60,000 worth of drugs from them. In the calls they made threats to harm the victim and other family members if the drugs were not returned.
The following morning (21 June) the victim was abandoned and left tied to the metal gate of a farm near Kensworth, at which point he was able to free himself and make his way home.
He was beaten and bruised during the ordeal but fortunately did not sustain significant injuries.
An investigation ran by the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit led to a number of suspects being identified and subsequently six men were arrested and charged.
Several weapons, including live firearms, were also recovered during searches carried out at both the address where the victim was held hostage and some of the home addresses of the offenders.
Detective Chief Inspector Adam Gallop said: “These six men were part of an organised crime group, and I’m pleased that they are now facing such a lengthy stint behind bars for their violent and unacceptable actions last June.
“This was a completely terrifying experience for the victim, a completely innocent young man who was just going about his day to day business when he got dragged off the streets of Luton.
“Fortunately he was not seriously harmed and I hope that today’s sentencing will allow him to move on from this ordeal.
“Drugs gangs like this will not be tolerated in Bedfordshire and we are committed to maximising every opportunity to bring these offenders to justice. The strong sentences delivered today send a very clear message – offend in this way, and you risk spending a very long time locked up away from your family and loved ones for many of the best years of your life. This is a stark warning to other groups that they will not be able to get away with their criminality in this county.”
Full list of sentences
Mohammed Yousaf, 22, of Lyndhurst Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was sentenced to 12 years imprisonment.
Muhammed Hussain, 25, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment, blackmail and a firearms offence. He was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.
Saqib Rehman, 20, of Belmont Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to three and a half years in jail.
Jalil Uddin,40, of Chatsworth Road, Luton, pleaded guilty to false imprisonment. He was sentenced to eight years and three months imprisonment.
Mitchell Malik, 21, of Hillside Road, Dudley, was found guilty of false imprisonment, blackmail, and a firearms offence. He was found not guilty of kidnap and jailed for 15 years.
A 17-year-old boy from Luton pleaded guilty to kidnap, false imprisonment and blackmail. He was jailed for five years.