Youth gang kidnapping major crime bosses
A FEARLESS gang of youths is kidnapping major Sydney crime figures from their homes, business sites and off the streets and holding them for massive ransoms.
The most recent victim is a convicted Armenian cocaine smuggler Vahe Geokjian, who was abducted from a home in Dundas on Sunday night before being dumped at a hospital two days later.
Police first became aware of reports of a home invasion before it became a kidnapping investigation.
The Saturday Telegraph has been told it was the latest in a string of similar well-planned gangster-on-gangster kidnappings in which the hostage is taken to secret locations, blindfolded, given pizza and a phone and told to ring around to get the ransom in cash.
Geokjian is involved in property development and a smash repair business on the north shore and attended the funeral of slain bikie boss Mick Hawi. He was jailed for six years for supplying and importing cocaine in 2007.
Staff at Liverpool Hospital contacted police on Tuesday morning when he walked into the emergency ward with injuries consistent with being assaulted, possibly tortured. The Telegraph understands he was driven there by his abductors.
Geokjian is not co-operating with police.
NSW Police confirmed they knew of the alleged abduction of Geokjian and said there were rumours of similar incidents, which they have yet to determine are connected.
"The State Crime Command's Robbery and Serious Crime Squad is currently investigating a number of recent kidnap for ransom incidents across Sydney,'' a police spokesman said yesterday.
Underworld sources say it is at least the seventh time in the past two years a target has been snatched, held for ransom and then released after paying huge amounts of money. A number of victims have been former crime figures now running successful businesses. The children of wealthy parents who are studying here have been targeted.
The gang responsible is believed to be a young mix of Lebanese and Pacific Islanders from the Liverpool area. They demand payment in cash.
In at least one case a known drug dealer, now a property developer, gave his wife's Bentley as collateral when he couldn't come up with the cash the gang demanded.
He then "bought" the car back from his kidnappers.
Another person believed to have paid the ransom is a bikie associate and brother of a drug dealer executed in 2005. Another is again a Middle Eastern crime figure turned developer.
A number of underworld sources have told The Telegraph after they are abducted the hostage is taken to a building and fed pizza and fast food.
"They are treated pretty well, given a phone and told to ring around and raise the cash," said one source.
"Drug dealers and criminals ripping each other off is nothing new, but not at this level. They are targeting some big names and have done their homework on them." Cases were often resolved quietly by the victims without police getting involved, he said.