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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 June 2007, 14:30 GMT 15:30 UK
Six men sentenced for abduction
Craig Adams, Peter Haining, Ian Rosales, David Smith, Leslie White and Darren Wright
Top row l-r: Adams, Haining, Rosales; Bottom row l-r: Smith, White, Wright
A six-man gang involved in the abduction of a Glasgow shopkeeper last year have been sent to prison.

The men pleaded guilty to kidnapping Javed Mukhtar, 58, from his home in the south side of Glasgow in September last year and demanding a £2.5m ransom.

Mr Mukhtar was handcuffed and held captive for three weeks in Manchester.

The jail sentences totalled almost 43 years and judge Lord Hodge said it was a "frightening, stressful and prolonged ordeal" for Mr Mukhtar.

Police said it was the longest running inquiry of its kind in Britain, involving 800 officers.

The High Court in Glasgow heard the gang bundled Mr Mukhtar into the back of a van before shooting at his son on 29 September.

GANG'S JAIL TERMS
Darren Wright - 11 years, three months
Peter Haining - 12 years, six months
Craig Adams - four years, 10 months
Ian Rosales - three years
David Smith - five years, three months
Leslie White - six years

Mr Mukhtar's captors warned his family that if the ransom was not paid he would be seriously injured, even murdered.

Detectives received a tip-off and the kidnappers were arrested after an undercover police officer left a suitcase containing £400,000 beside an emergency telephone on the M6 near Charnock Richard in Lancashire.

Darren Wright, 31, a disqualified lorry driver of Thorn Close, Heywood, Lancashire, and ex-Royal Marine Peter Haining, 28, of the same address, were used as the brute force to help abduct Mr Mukhtar.

Different addresses

Craig Adams, 23, of Boardman Lane, Bury, Lancashire, was the driver of the van which took Mr Mukhtar to captivity.

David Smith, 37, of Atholl Drive, Heywood, allowed his home to be used to keep Mr Mukhtar captive for several days before his release.

Leslie White, 65, of Craigavon, County Armagh, did most of the negotiating for the ransom, and Ian Rosales, 19, of Thorn Close, Heywood, helped while the ransom was picked up.

The court heard that the intended victim of the kidnapping was Mr Mukhtar's son, Bilal, 25, known as Billy.

During the abduction, Haining and Wright wore dark military-style clothing and balaclavas and were armed with Russian-made Baikal .38 automatics, fitted with silencers.

By the tone of the quite explicit demands, what we were dealing with were really determined criminals
Det Supt Willie Prendergast

Mr Mukhtar was handcuffed and hooded for the journey to the Manchester area, where he was to spend the next three weeks in captivity at three different addresses.

He was eventually released by the gang and found by police in a distressed state in Warrington.

Det Supt Willie Prendergast, of Strathclyde Police, said: "It was a 25-day inquiry, by far the longest for a conventional kidnap in the United Kingdom.

"It was highly unusual in that the crime was committed in our area but the whole hub of the inquiry subsequently fell upon the Manchester area of England.

"And indeed this was compounded as it triangulated over to Northern Ireland, where the person who actually made the demands was based."

Breaking cover

The Police Service of Northern Ireland, Greater Manchester Police, Lancashire Constabulary, the Serious Organised Crime Agency and the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency helped to catch the plotters.

Mr Prendergast said: "By the tone of the quite explicit demands, what we were dealing with were really determined criminals. Quite frankly, the man's life was in the balance."

The kidnappers were eventually arrested after being lured into breaking cover by a case containing £400,000, provided by Mr Mukhtar's family.

Mr Prendergast added: "They were being rather naive to believe we had not some handle on this.

"This was a pre-planned operation committed by desperadoes armed to the teeth and they were determined they were going to get vast amounts of money.

"Mr Mukhtar was not physically tortured but the mental strain was phenomenal and the healing process is still not complete."

Detectives said the gang had "scant" links with Glasgow and stressed Mr Mukhtar was an "entirely innocent individual".

Officers said they were still baffled as to why Mr Mukhtar's family had been targeted.




VIDEO AND AUDIO NEWS
Det Supt Willie Prendergast describes the operation



SEE ALSO
Six admit businessman abduction
09 Mar 07 |  Glasgow and West
Further arrests over 'abduction'
09 Nov 06 |  Glasgow and West
Trio charged with man's abduction
30 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Six in court over man's abduction
25 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West
Six men arrested over 'abduction'
24 Oct 06 |  Glasgow and West

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