Jailed: Chadwell Heath kidnapper who subjected victim to 'terrifying, gun point ordeal'
PUBLISHED: 17:10 22 November 2019
Two thugs who kidnapped a man, threatened him at gunpoint and blackmailed his family have been jailed.
Aqeel Smith, 20, of High Road, Chadwell Heath, kidnapped the victim outside his home along with accomplice, Carlos Boente, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, last October.
Acting Det Ch Insp Rick Sewart, from the Met's Flying Squad, said: "This was a terrifying experience for the victim, who was bundled into a car and threatened with both a gun and a knife during his two-hour long ordeal."
Officers were contacted by a man just after 10.30pm on October 25 last year saying his brother-in-law had just been kidnapped at gunpoint in Leyton and dragged into a vehicle.
The hostage's wife then received calls from her husband's phone, demanding that a ransom of between £2,000 and £5,000 be paid in order to secure his release.
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The hostage was freed following a two-hour long ordeal but no money was handed over. The victim suffered minor injuries, having had a gun held to his chest and throat as well as a knife jabbed into his head.
The hostage was able to tell officers that he had met the suspects before and done some work for them repairing mobile phones.
Detectives caught the pair after trawling through call data and studying forensic evidence taken from the kidnap vehicle which had been identified using CCTV.
The two men were found with the victim's mobile phone and a replica firearm when they were arrested the same month of the kidnap.
Acting Det Ch Insp Stewart said: "We may never know exactly why the victim was kidnapped, but it is due to the hard work and diligence of my detectives that they were able to identify and apprehend these two men, and ensure that they have faced justice and a substantial custodial sentence."
Smith and Boente were found guilty of kidnap, possession of a firearm, blackmail and theft. They were sentenced on Friday, November 22, following a three-week long trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
Smith was locked up for eight years while Boente, 38, was jailed for nine and a half.