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TWO men have been jailed for a combined 17 years after kidnapping a man in Leyton and blackmailing his family.
Aqeel Smith, 20, of High Road in Chadwell Heath, was jailed for eight years for kidnap, blackmail, theft and possessing a firearm while committing a schedule one offence.
Carlos Boente, 38, of Edwin Street in Newham, was jailed for nine-and-a-half years for the same offences.
The bungling duo kidnapped a man they already knew, meaning he was easily able to identify them after his release.
When the police found them, they still had the victim’s mobile phone in their possession.
Both men were sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday, November 22.
They were convicted after a three-week trial, in which jurors heard how they had held a gun to their victim’s chest and throat and prodded a knife into his head.
Police were called late on October 25, 2018, by a man who said his brother-in-law had just been kidnapped outside his home in Leyton.
The caller said the kidnappers had been armed with a gun and had dragged the man into a vehicle.
The victim’s wife then received calls from her husband’s phone, demanding she pay between £2,000 and £5,000 to secure his safe return.
The duo held the man for two hours and then released him, having not received any ransom money.
A Met Police spokesman said: “The hostage was able to tell officers that he had previously met the suspects and undertaken some work for them repairing mobile phones.”
Acting DCI Rick Stewart, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said the victim had suffered a ‘terrifying experience’ and commended the ‘hard work and diligence’ of the police officers who brought the crooks to justice.