Police have welcomed the tough sentences handed to an armed gang involved in a £100,000 Sheffield blackmail plot.
Gimal Foster, 31, Mubarrack Hassan, 24, and Ahmed Ismail, 22, were sentenced to a combined total of 24 years in jail this week for falsely imprisoning two men at the beginning of the year.
They kept two victims hostage for over 16 hours and demanded £100,000 from their families in January this year.
Foster, of Ironside Road in Gleadless Valley, was convicted of two counts of false imprisonment, two counts of possession of a class A drug, blackmail and possessing a firearm when prohibited. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Hassan, of Glossop Road, and Ismail, of Exeter Drive, Broomhall, were both convicted of two counts of false imprisonment and blackmail. They have both been sentenced to six years in prison.
All three were found not guilty of two counts of kidnap and possession of a firearm with intent.
The group forced two men they had arranged to meet in Huddersfield into a car in Huddersfield on January 9 and took them to a property on Plowright Mount in Gleadless.
A covert police operation resulted in all three men being arrested and the victims returning safely to their families.
Temporary Detective Sergeant Iain Rawlins said: “This incident has had a significant, long-term impact on the victims, one of whom describes feeling anxious and intimidated particularly when he’s out on his own.
“Foster, Hassan and Ismail thought they were above the law and untouchable, believing their actions would not come to the attention of the police.
“I hope with the sentences they are now starting in prison they realise that the police will do everything they can to protect victims of crime and that we will not tolerate this level of criminality in South Yorkshire. We will always endeavour to bring offenders before the courts.”