The 26-year-old man was allegedly held against his will, had some of his teeth forcibly removed, was held at gunpoint and repeatedly assaulted over the days in captivity in a Belmore home in Sydney.
“He had been bound, tied up had his face covered, sustained numerous injuries, facial injuries and had his teeth forcibly removed,” Detective superintendent Joe Doueihi said.
Police acted efficiently and tactically to ensure a successful rescue mission.
“As soon as we discovered the man was on that premises, in order to preserve life we invoked emergency powers in order to enter the premises and retrieve that hostage,” Detective Doueihi said.
Police allege he was held for ransom due to the criminal group intending to extort him and his associates.
The kidnappers allegedly demanded a ransom from Vuong’s associates of $5 million on an encrypted device.
“We set a price 5mil ($5 million) … if you can’t meet up 2 our requirements, we cut ur boy up bit by bit until you give us what we want,” they allegedly sent on the device.
The messages projected serious violence and threat to Vuong’s life.
“Want his body in pieces? Get the 5mil ready”, one message allegedly said.
They gave the associates a time limit of 24 hours to pay the ransom.
“You have 24h to cough up something nice. We waiting, times ticking,” another message said.
It is alleged that Vuong was kidnapped from his home in front of family by a group of six men wearing dark clothing, masks and armed with a sledgehammer and fire extinguisher.
The six men aged between 19 and 21 have been arrested and charged over the alleged kidnapping.
A 19-year-old man was arrested inside the home and taken to Campsie Police Station.
“He was charged with special aggravated break and enter commit a serious indictable offence, take/detain in company with the intent to ransom occasion actual bodily harm, demand property with menaces with intent to steal, participate, criminal group, contribute criminal activity, possess an unregistered unauthorised pistol in a public place, and cause grievous bodily harm to a person with intent” According to reports.
Two further men were arrested in Belmore during a vehicle stop who were also charged with a string of similar offences.
All men have been refused bail and will appear in Bankstown and Paramatta local courts.
Investigations are set to continue with police anticipating further arrests in relation to the case.
What is extortion?
Extortion is a form of blackmail that is a serious criminal offence in New South Wales which carries maximum penalties ranging from 10 years to 14 years imprisonment prescribed by section 99 Crimes Act 1900 (NSW).
It involves using intimidation to obtain money, property or valuable items through the wrongful use of actual or threatened force, violence or fear.
Blackmail is also an offence under section 249K of the Crimes Act 1900. This offence occurs when a person makes any unwarranted demand with menaces:
- with the intention of obtaining a gain or of causing a loss, or
- with the intention of influencing the exercise of a public duty.
This offence carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment. This maximum penalty rises to 14 years imprisonment if this offence is committed by an accusation, or a threatened accusation, that a person has committed a serious indictable offence.
By Alyssa Maschmedt and Jimmy Singh.