Three men charged in weekend kidnapping
The Calgary Police Service has charged three men in relation to a highly-dangerous kidnapping and extortion situation that took place over the weekend.
On Saturday, Jan. 28, 2017, at approximately 9 p.m., five men agreed to meet under false pretenses. After entering a vehicle, two of the men had their heads covered with balaclavas, were driven to a residence located in the 200 block of Erin Mount Crescent S.E., and confined to a basement by the other three men. While confining the men, it is alleged the three offenders pointed firearms at the victims and threatened to shoot them.
The offenders eventually made contact with the victims’ friends and made arrangements to exchange an undisclosed amount of money for the release of one victim. The meeting took place shortly after in a parking lot located in the 4500 block of 25 Street S.E., and one victim was released. Not long after, the offenders made contact again to negotiate the release of the second victim.
While this was occurring, on Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017, at approximately 8 a.m., a witness who was present at the address where the victims were being held, became concerned, fled the residence and contacted police. Officers met the man nearby, where they learned that three men had been holding two people against their will.
While trying to substantiate the allegations, officers observed one suspect and one victim leaving the residence. The suspect drove the victim to the same parking lot located in the 4500 block of 25 Street S.E. Members from the CPS Tactical Unit moved in and were able to apprehend the victim and suspect without incident.
The remaining two suspects were taken into custody from the residence on Erin Mount Crescent S.E., also without incident. The initial ransom money was recovered from the scene, however the amount will not be disclosed.
This incident is believed to be drug-related and required a large number of resources from the Service to respond, investigate and safely resolve.
Simon LUGELA, 21, of Calgary, is charged with two counts of kidnapping with a restricted/prohibited firearm for ransom.
John OCHELO, 21, of Calgary, is charged with two counts each of kidnapping with a restricted/prohibited firearm for ransom and breach of recognizance.
Dhia-Al-Hage MOHAMMED, 24, of Saskatoon, is charged with two counts each of kidnapping with a restricted/prohibited firearm for ransom, breach of undertaking and possession of an identity document.
LUGELA, OCHELO and MOHAMMED appeared in court today, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017.
The investigation is ongoing and more charges are anticipated.