Two jailed in Pakistan kidnapping case

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TWO men have been jailed for their part in the kidnapping of a man in Pakistan.

Masood Sarwar, 51, from London, and Rehmat Awan, 55, from Bradford, were convicted at Leeds Crown Court for their part in the gun-point kidnapping of 47-year-old Sabir Mughal in Pakistan.

Over 100 officers worked on the case which West Yorkshire Police described as “one of the longest running kidnap investigations”.

At Leeds Crown Court Sarwar was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit blackmail and Awan received seven years for the same offence.   

They were arrested and charged following the gun-point kidnapping of 47 year old Sabir Mughal in Pakistan. His brother in Bradford – 64 year old Mohammed Zaman – was contacted for ransom money.

Police discovered that Awan had falsely befriended the brother and was passing on information to help the kidnappers. In a joint operation West Yorkshire Police, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked together to bring the two men to justice.

Officers from Bradford travelled up and down the United Kingdom and even to Pakistan in an attempt to trace the kidnapped man.

Surveillance in London led to the arrest of Sarwar who was seen taking the ransom money from a third party who had been used as a courier.

£236,000 was handed over and it was all recovered once the kidnapped man had been released safely.

Police in Pakistan are still trying to trace the kidnappers.

Detective Superintendent Paul Taylor of West Yorkshire Police said: “This was a very successful operation with the best possible outcome – the safe return of Mr Mughal to his family and the recovery of the ransom money. It demonstrated partnership working with SOCA and CPS at its best, and demonstrated that the public of West Yorkshire can be assured that in serious cases such as this even though the hostage was kidnapped abroad, that their police will pursue and bring to justice those who choose to break the law.”

The family of Mr Mughal expressed their gratitude to the police force in securing his release.

A statement released by the family said: “The family is grateful to West Yorkshire Police for their investigation into this case. This case sends a message to everyone that if you have a loved one kidnapped abroad the police can help. My brother Sabir Mughal was returned safely because of the involvement of the West Yorkshire Police. Kidnappings in Pakistan that resort to ransoms demanded from relatives in England are all too common.”

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