Three men have been charged over what police called a “horrifying” extortion attempt in which a man was allegedly kidnapped, tortured and his family threatened unless they handed over a large amount of cash.
Police said the incident began last Tuesday when a 19-year-old man went to a home in Inglewood to meet a person to whom he was in debt.
The pair had allegedly agreed to meet at a short-stay accommodation property not linked to any of the men involved.
When the teenager arrived, police said he was instead met by three men, who choked him unconscious and bound him with cable ties after he said he was unable to pay back the debt.
The trio then allegedly used the victim’s phone to contact his family, sending a video of him bound on the floor and threatening to harm him unless the family paid tens of thousands of dollars more than was originally owed.
Police said it was at this point the family contacted police, and an investigation was launched.
‘Worst nightmare’ scenario: Police
WA Police Detective Senior Sergeant Ken Foster said while the crimes should “shock and horrify” the public, it was especially distressing for the victim’s family.
“It would be any parent’s worst nightmare to receive such vision of their child and to be subjected to such threats,” he said.
“In this instance, family members became extremely distressed as a result of receiving the video and associated threats made towards their son.
“It is easy for good families to find themselves involved in a world that is dangerous and unpredictable.”
Police said the victim was left at the property overnight, before being driven to Pollard Street in Glendalough.
He was found by officers at another house a short time later and was taken to hospital to be treated for cuts he received to his toes during the ordeal.
Charges laid after raids across Perth
Police said detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad executed three search warrants across Perth’s northern suburbs in the days following the alleged kidnapping.
The warrants resulted in two 26-year-old men and a 23-year-old man each being charged with kidnapping, extortion and unlawful wounding.
Senior Sergeant Foster said the arrests should send a strong message to the community.
“This serious crime resulted in a significant police response, firstly with officers working throughout the night to locate and check on the welfare of the kidnapped man and then secondly to investigate those offenders involved,” he said.
“Such a situation would be terrifying for anyone to be in and no-one should be subjected to such violent acts.
“The series of events that we are alleging took place that night are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our community.”
The men have all been refused bail and are due to appear in Perth Magistrates Court later in February