Police: Accomplices In Brutal Queens Kidnapping, Ransom Plot Flee The Country
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly says three accomplices to the brutal monthlong kidnapping of a businessman have fled to Ecuador.
Kelly said Thursday that detectives were also looking for a man in New York City. He was seen on surveillance footage at Chase Bank trying to get cash from the victim’s account.
Pedro Portugal was snatched off the street in broad daylight last month.
Authorities say he was held captive by brutal kidnappers who burned him with acid. They also threatened to slice off his fingertips if his family didn’t come up with $3 million in ransom. He is originally from Ecuador.
Queens District Attorney Richard Brown says three men have been held without bail.
Christian Acuna of Corona, Dennis Alves of East Elmhurst, and Eduardo Moncayo of Lyndhurst, N.J., were all facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment, Brown announced Wednesday.
Their lawyers didn’t respond to for comment.
Moncayo allegedly approached Portugal, 52, at his office on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, flashed a fake NYPD badge, and ordered him into a sport-utility vehicle.
The abduction was caught on video on the sidewalk.
The men had dropped Portugal off in an unknown location, later revealed to be an old garment factory at 38-09 43rd Ave. in Long Island City, Queens.
At the warehouse, the men forced Portugal into a chair and tied him up. A group of men then began punching and kicking Portugal, saying that they wanted money and that they knew he had property in the United States, prosecutors said.
District Attorney Brown said there was a virtual torture chamber in use inside the warehouse.
“In many respects, this thing was like a James Bond movie,” Brown said. “He was tied to a chair, duct taped, ropes around his hands, hood over his head. He was brutalized, times at knifepoint; threatened with death.”
The suspects allegedly held Portugal captive from April 18 until just this past Monday.
Police were alerted to the ransom demands, and traveled to Ecuador to work the case. They raided the warehouse Monday evening.
The men all face terms of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Portugal remained hospitalized Wednesday night with very serious injuries.
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