London, July 15, 2023: (PTI) Two Indian-origin brothers and an accomplice have been jailed for a total of over 45 years for kidnapping a businessman in Wolverhampton city centre in the West Midlands region of England.
Baljit Baghral, 33, and his brother David Baghral, 28, along with 22-year-old Shanu Shanu, were found guilty of having ambushed their victim as he walked to his car after work in November last year.
The trio were found guilty after a trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court last month and sentenced this week with the Baghral brothers handed 16-year prison sentences each and their accomplice sentenced to 13 years and four months.
“These men subjected their victim to a terrifying ordeal which lasted for hours and left him fearing for his safety and even his life,” said Detective Constable Dan David from the Major Crime Team of Wolverhampton Crown Court.
“They planned this venture with the sole purpose of extracting a large sum of money but instead they now face a significant amount of time in jail,” he said.
The trial heard how the victim was held captive for a number of hours and his ordeal only ended after the men persuaded one of his work colleagues to leave GBP 19,000 in a bag at a bus stop as a ransom.
The men then left him in the van, which they later claimed was stolen, where he managed to get out and call the police.
Using CCTV, number plate recognition and mobile phone data, West Midlands Police investigators pieced together what had happened and even discovered a group chat called “Robbers Gang” on Baljit’s phone, which David had created two days before the kidnap.
David Baghral was arrested from his home, while his brother Baljit was arrested at Birmingham Airport the same day as he returned from Cyprus.
Shanu Shanu was arrested a few days later at Heathrow Airport as he tried to flee to the US.
While David and Baljit Baghral both denied conspiracy to kidnap, conspiracy to blackmail and possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence, Shanu Shanu had pleaded guilty to the charges.