Four men who kidnapped a man and held him against his will in a north-west London flat over a friend’s alleged drug debt have been jailed.
The victim, a man in his 30s, was held for 36 hours in a property on Dean Road before he was rescued at 12.30pm on February 18.
Ervis Ademi, 22, Xhekson Malollari, 31, Mariglen Elezi, 30, and 23-year-old Hydajet Kadriu were convicted of false imprisonment following an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad.
Malollari and Elezi were also found guilty of conspiracy to kidnap, while Elezi was also found guilty of being in possession of a small amount of cocaine.
Two men in the group had lured the victim to a bar in Cricklewood Broadway over an alleged drug debt owed by his friend of around £40,000.
The three men then left together and were approached by two other men wearing balaclavas on Richborough Street. The victim was then bundled into a car and taken to their stronghold on Dean Road.
One of the men had a knife and the victim received some cuts during the scuffle, police said.
Whilst the man was held in the flat, he made several phone calls to his ex-partner and to friends to try to raise funds to meet a £110,000 demand.
Police became aware of the kidnap and began an investigation under the name “Operation Major”.
Officers were deployed to the area at 2am on February 17 and covertly observed the flat for several hours, watching several people come and go from the property.
At around 12.30pm the next day, armed police entered the property and freed the kidnapped man. He was taken to hospital with several stab wounds, bruising and grazes.
Malollari and Elezi were arrested in the flat. Ademi and Kadriu jumped out of a window attempting to escape but were chased and arrested by officers.
While gathering evidence, officers recovered balaclavas, some blood-stained tissues, several mobile phones and keys to a car which had been at the scene of the kidnap on February 16.
They obtained the bar’s CCTV footage and identified Malollari as one of the men who met the victim in the bar.
They also gained CCTV footage from another nearby business and identified the same car at the scene of the kidnapping and parked outside the flat in Dean Road.
There were several incriminating photos and messages on the phones and one video showed the victim with a number of injuries, answering questions about money and pleading with the questioner not to kill him.
Detective Constable Tom Waller, of the Flying Squad, within Central Specialist Crime, who led the investigation, said: “This kidnapping was an appalling pre-planned attack on a man who suffered a terrifying ordeal.
“The Met is committed to making the streets of London safer and thanks to the dedicated work of the officers involved in this operation, these four men have been brought to justice.”
On Friday, Ademi and Malollar were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment at Amersham Crown Court.
Elezi and Kadriu were each sentenced to four years imprisonment.