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Man Charged In Queens Kidnapping, Ransom Plot Claims He’s ‘Not A Criminal’

One Of Three Suspects In Custody Gave Jailhouse Interview
The warehouse on 43rd Avenue in Long Island City where prosecutors said a businessman was held and tortured for a month by a group of men looking for $3 million in ransom. (Photo: CBS 2)

The warehouse on 43rd Avenue in Long Island City where prosecutors said a businessman was held and tortured for a month by a group of men looking for $3 million in ransom. (Photo: CBS 2)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – A man charged in the brazen abduction and brutal captivity of a New York City businessman says he “made a mistake.” But the suspect says he’s “not a criminal.”

Eduardo Moncayo makes those remarks in a jail interview published Sunday by the Daily News. He and two others are being held without bail.

The newspaper says Moncayo refused to discuss the allegations but said he doesn’t belong in jail.

Businessman Pedro Portugal was found last Monday.

Police say he’d been held in a warehouse for more than a month. They say he was bound and burned with acid as captors demanded a $3 million ransom from his family in Quito, Ecuador.

Police say Moncayo flashed a fake police badge to get Portugal to stop on a street April 18.

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.

District Attorney Richard 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 last week. “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.”

Christian Acuna of Corona, Dennis Alves of East Elmhurst, and Moncayo of Lyndhurst, N.J. were charged with kidnapping and illegal imprisonment, according to officials.

They all face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Last week, NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly announced that three accomplices in the kidnapping and ransom scheme had fled to their native Ecuador and that a fourth man was still being sought by police.

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