Police hunt gang after man stripped naked and beaten in “vicious” two-day kidnapping

Two suspects enter the house. Pic: Met Police

Four men have been arrested after an armed gang held a man hostage for more than two days last week, stripping him naked and beating him, before looting his parents’ home.

The 24-year-old victim was lured to a house in Thornton Heath by two acquaintances, last Monday December 4, where he was ambushed by a group of men armed with knives and a gun.

The attackers took his gold Rolex watch, worth around £9,000, before tying him up and threatening him with a gun in what police described as an “extended bout of physical abuse and humiliation”. One kidnapper kicked him in the face, leaving him with badly bruised lips and a lump on his forehead.

The kidnappers then forced the victim to call his parents to deliver a “significant” ransom demand.

After being told his parents could not pay it, they took the man’s keys and raided their home in Sydenham. They took several more Rolex watches, designer handbags and sunglasses, and a large sum of cash, police said.

The man finally escaped when the group drove him to a branch of the Metro Bank in the North End to withdraw money from his account. When his captors stayed behind in their car to avoid being caught on CCTV, he was able to flee to the nearby Croydon Minster church where police were called and ended his 50-hour ordeal.

One of the men sought by police. Pic: Met Police

Detectives have now released CCTV footage of two suspects as they entered the victim’s parent’s home on Wednesday December 6. They also issued an appeal for information to locate as many as twelve other men who may have been involved in the attack.

Brothers Ali Dervish, 28, and Sinan Dervish, 19, were arrested on suspicion of kidnapping on Sunday. Their arrests followed the apprehension of two unnamed men, aged 39 and 58, on Friday who have since been released on bail.

Detective Sergeant Samuel Bennet, of  Croydon CID, said: “This was a vicious and prolonged attack of a nature that is thankfully very rare. It has left the victim utterly distraught and traumatised.

“We are urgently seeking any information on the other individuals involved, who we believe could number up to twelve, but particularly those whose images and details we have released.”

Police described the stolen Rolex as a 2007 model with a black face, black bezel and yellow gold body. Anyone who has bought or been offered a similar model in the last week is urged to come forward.

A Rolex watch similar to the one stolen. Pic: Met Police

Bennet added: “Any information you have, however small, could prove vital to us as we piece together the events leading up to and following the kidnap. We will treat any information provided in the strictest of confidence.

“These men are dangerous and it is important that we apprehend them before they can target anyone else.”

Anyone with information should call Croydon CID on 101 or tweet @MetCC. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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