Lancashire

Gang jailed over 'written instructions' kidnap plot

Handwritten instructions on how to kidnap Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption The note included instructions on what order to put tape on the victim

A gang caught with a "kidnap kit", including handwritten instructions of how to restrain their victim, have been sentenced.

Mohammed Manijra, Alexander Gibbons, Gulam Saiyed, Muhammed Amjad and John Powell plotted to capture Hassan Akhtar after he stole £275,000 from them.

After failing to catch him at a hotel, they trailed him but were arrested before they carried out their plan.

All five were found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap.

Appearing at Preston Crown Court, Gibbons, 41, of Meadowbank Court, Oswestry, Shropshire, was also convicted of weapons offences and sentenced to four years in prison.

Manijra, 54, of Regent Drive, Fulwood, Preston, Lancashire, was jailed for five years, while Saiyed, 56, of Albatross Street, Preston, and Amjad, 38, of Gurney Crescent, Croydon, south London, both received three-year sentences.

Powell, 63, of Welsh Walls, Oswestry, was handed a two-year suspended sentence.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Muhammed Amjad, Mohammed Manijra and Gulam Saiyed were jailed for their part in the plot

Lancashire Police said the plot to kidnap Akhtar, who was jailed in 2018 for money laundering offences, was hatched in August 2017 after he took the money, which he had been transporting for the gang's "kingpin" Manijra.

Manijra employed Gibbons, a former soldier and private investigator, to find Akhtar.

On discovering he was staying at a Travelodge in Oldham, Gibbons and Powell posed as police officers and managed to get a list of the hotel's guests and a master key that would let them into every room, the force added.

The pair were later seen dragging Akhtar through reception but he managed to escape.

Image copyright Lancashire Police
Image caption Former soldier Alexander Gibbons had a fake UN security pistol permit

Over the next two months, they carried out covert surveillance on him and used vehicle trackers to watch his movements, police said.

However, Gibbons was stopped by police while watching the 50-year-old and found to have a "kidnap kit" consisting of knives, tear gas, a balaclava, gloves, duct tape, cable ties, a paper suit, a fake UN security badge and pistol permit, a sword stick and photos of Akhtar.

A handwritten note was also discovered which read: "Take target, tape mouth 1st, then hands, behind back, once in vehicle, tape legs."

The other members of the gang were subsequently arrested.

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