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A man has been jailed for the kidnap and robbery of two students.
In the early hours of Friday 23 March 2018, two students – both men who were 21 and 20 at the time - were approached by three men – one of which was Mohamed Mohamed - on Princess Street in Manchester City Centre.
The students were offered drugs for sale, and upon refusing, were told by the men that they had wasted their time and owed them money as a result.
The group physically assaulted one of the students before telling them both to get into a car. Inside the car, the student was assaulted a second time and his friend was plied with cocaine before being instructed to unlock his mobile phone and open his banking app which the group then used to transfer an amount of money out of the account.
The students were taken to a property in the Hulme area where they were forcibly held for approximately two hours. The men further plied the students with drugs and alcohol, intimidating them into feeling fearful of reprisals if they did not go along with their demands.
The second student was told that both he and his friend would only be allowed to leave once they had provided the group with £1500. He was then taken by car to a nearby post office and given a debit card and pin to withdraw the money which had earlier been transferred from his bank account whilst his friend remained hostage at the property.
His friend was picked up by the car, and both students were taken to a bank on Oxford Road where the second student was instructed to go inside the bank and withdraw cash. He was only able to withdraw £500, and upon returning to the car he was met with aggression by the group for not providing them with the full £1500.
The students were then driven to a bank in Ashton Town Centre where the second student was instructed to go inside the bank and withdraw the remaining £1000 whilst his friend remained in the car which was driving around the local area.
When the car reached a red traffic light, the friend managed to escape from the vehicle and fled to a nearby retail park. He sent a text message to the student in the bank saying “Run.” Upon receiving the text message, the student alerted the bank staff to the situation who then called the police.
In addition to coercing the second student into withdrawing money from the banks, the group intimidated the student into handing over his debit card and pin. The group made a number of transactions using the student’s bank details, and in total an amount of £3208.62 was taken from the student by the group.
Earlier today (Monday 16 December 2019), Mohamed Mohamed (03/03/1987) of Ashton Old Road, Manchester was sentenced at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square to nine years in prison after being found guilty of two counts of kidnap and two counts of robbery.
Two other men, Mohammed Suleiman (25/04/1992) of Prestbury Avenue, Fallowfield and Mohamed Abdullahi (01/07/1987) of no fixed abode, failed to attend court to face trial over the same incident last week and are now wanted.
Detective Constable James Donnelly, of GMPs City of Manchester Division, said: “This was a shocking incident in which two innocent members of the public were held against their will and robbed in what must have been an extremely terrifying ordeal for them both.
“Mohamed intimidated and bullied his victims into doing as he demanded, and I hope that today’s sentence sends a message to others that there is no tolerance for this type of incident in Greater Manchester.
“We want all students in Greater Manchester to feel safe where they live and study, and we will continue to work alongside partner agencies to ensure this is the case.”
Anyone with any information regarding Mohammed Suleiman or Mohamed Abdullahi’s whereabouts should contact police on 101, details can also be passed on anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Each month GMP meet with our partners such as the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester City Council, Manchester Student Homes and the student unions to share information and discuss initiatives to help keep students safe.