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Public information sparked kidnap investigation

Three police media releases on last night's attempted kidnapping, latest to earliest.

Public information sparked kidnap investigation

22 July 2002

Public information sparked the investigation which led to police foiling a kidnapping in Wellington tonight.

Detective Inspector Norm Cook, Wellington District Crime Manager, and officer in charge of the investigation, said the public tip off provided the impetus.

"I can’t elaborate on the details tonight but the information was important to us and we very much appreciate the assistance.

"It’s a great example of how public cooperation and policing can work effectively together."

Late tonight police charged a 33-year-old Upper Hutt man with two counts of conspiracy to kidnap, one attempted kidnap and one charge of possession of a firearm in the commission of a crime.

He will appear in the Upper Hutt District Court at 9.30am tomorrow, Tuesday 23 July.

It is likely a second man will also appear on similar charges tomorrow morning while a third has been arrested but is still receiving medical treatment for dog bite injuries.


Police foil kidnap
National News Release, 22:43, 22 July 2002
Armed police and serious crime investigators tonight foiled a kidnapping in the lower Kelburn area of Central Wellington.

Detective Inspector Norm Cook, Wellington District Crime Services manager, and officer in charge of the inquiry, said police arrested the men in the Botanic Gardens before a kidnapping took place.

"We foiled what we believe to be a well planned kidnapping," he said tonight. "We responded before the intended victim, a middle aged man, was contacted or approached."

He said the intended victim was safe with family members. Mr Cook was not prepared to identify the man except to say he was not a political figure.

Mr Cook said several loud bangs were heard in the Glenmore Street area of Kelburn as armed police used distraction devices as they moved in on the men arrested.

"No shots were fired by police or the men arrested," he said.

Police did however recover a sawn-off shotgun.

The three have been arrested on conspiracy to kidnap and attempted kidnapping. Police are still talking with those arrested.

Mr Cook said a 50 strong team has been working on the investigation for nearly two weeks as a result of receiving some information from the public.

"A lot of behind the scenes work has been going on and there is still more to do," Mr Cook said.

"I can’t provide a lot more detail tonight as we’re still questioning those arrested. We have however identified a location where we believe a person was to be held against their will."

He was not prepared to reveal the location tonight.

Police have however executed search warrants on residential properties in the Upper Hutt area and will be continuing scene examinations in the morning at these and in the Botanic Gardens.


Police arrest three for attempted kidnapping in central Wellington
National News Release, 20:18, 22 July 2002
Police arrested three men as a result of an armed incident in central Wellington tonight.

Police spokeswoman Kaye Calder said the police response was part of a serious crime investigation in the District. Those arrested will face charges of conspiracy to kidnap and attempted kidnapping.

Police are still at the scene in the lower Kelburn area.

Police are unable to provide further information at this time except to say that one of the men arrested required medical treatment for a dog bite.

The intended victim was not a political figure.


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