Gang members jailed after revenge plot to kidnap man who stole £275k from kingpin

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Five members of a criminal gang have been sentenced over a plot to kidnap a man who stole £275k from the crime gang’s kingpin.


Hassan Akhtar, along with his wife Amera, were employed by the OCG to transport criminal cash from the North West to Europe to launder the money.

In August 2017 Akhtar stole a consignment of cash from the crime gang’s kingpin – £275,000 – and went on the run.

The gang launched an elaborate plan to snatch Akhtar in revenge.

Head of the OCG Hanif Manjra employed a former soldier and private investigator called Alexander Gibbons to track down Akhtar.

On August 25, 2017 Gibbons and his associate John Powell entered a Travelodge on Burnley Lane in Oldham.

Police also recovered a handwritten note which read:"take target, tape mouth 1st, then hands, behind back, once in vehicle, tape legs." (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Police also recovered a handwritten note which read:"take target, tape mouth 1st, then hands, behind back, once in vehicle, tape legs." (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Hassan Akhtar and his family had checked into the hotel on August 22nd.

Posing as a police officer, Gibbons obtained the hotel’s guest list and a master key to all rooms.

Moments later Gibbons and Powell were seen dragging Hassan Akhtar through the reception and outside.

Akhtar, however, managed to escape.

Police recovered a kidnap kit consisting of knives, tear gas, a balaclava, duct tape, cable ties, a UN security badge, a sword disguised as walking stick and a demolition bar. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

Police recovered a kidnap kit consisting of knives, tear gas, a balaclava, duct tape, cable ties, a UN security badge, a sword disguised as walking stick and a demolition bar. (Credit: Lancashire Police)

The kidnap plot continued over the next two months with members of the gang using various sophisticated techniques.

These included the use of vehicle trackers to trace Akhtar’s movements and carrying out covert surveillance on him and his wife Amera.

On October 10, Gibbons and another gang member were arrested whilst carrying out ‘surveillance’ of Amera Akhtar.

When police searched the vehicle they were in, they recovered a ‘kidnap kit’ consisting of knives, tear gas, a balaclava, a snood, silicone gloves, duct tape, cable ties, a paper suit, plastic sheets, a photograph of Hassan Akhtar, a UN security badge, a sword disguised as a walking stick and a demolition bar.

Police also recovered a handwritten note from the vehicle which read: "take target, tape mouth 1st, then hands, behind back, once in vehicle, tape legs."

Gibbons and Thomas were arrested and the arrests of the other members of the gang followed police enquiries.

Both Hassan, 50, and Amera Akhtar, 44, of Blackburn Road, Accrington admitted money laundering offences in July last year.

Hassan was jailed for 20 months and Amera was given a 12-month community order.

As part of a Lancashire Police investigation, codenamed Pelican, six people were charged with conspiracy to kidnap.

READ MORE: These are the latest cases and convictions from Preston's courts - Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Mohammed Hanif Anwar Manijra, 54, of Regent Drive, Fulwood, was found guilty and sentenced to five years.

Alexander Paul Gibbons, 41, of Willow Street, Oswestry, was found guilty and sentenced to four years.

Gibbons was also charged with having an offensive weapon.

Gulam Saiyed, 56, of Albatross Street, Preston, was found guilty and sentenced to three years.

Muhammed Junaid Amjad, 38, of Gurney Street, Croydon was found guilty and sentenced to three years.

John Michael Powell, 68, of Woodlands Court, Leeds was found guilty and sentenced to two years suspended.

George Anthony Thomas, 63, of Welsh Walls, Oswestry was found not guilty.

They were sentenced at Preston Crown Court on Wednesday, December 18.