Mosque founder is jailed over kidnap
By Fiona Evans
A founding member of a Bradford mosque has been jailed with his co-conspirator for their part in the kidnapping of a Pakistani businessman.
Rehmat Awan was yesterday jailed for seven years for conspiracy to commit blackmail and Masood Sarwar sentenced to six years for the same offence after admitting trying to extort £400,000 from the family of a man kidnapped at gunpoint and held for 15 days in Pakistan.
Prosecutor Paul Mitchell told Leeds Crown Court: "The victim of the kidnap, Sabir Mughal, was held prisoner for 15 days and only released after his brother, Mohammed Zaman paid over £200,000 on the instructions of his captors." He said Sarwar, 51, had a "crucial role" in extorting the money from Mr Zaman – acting in close concert with the kidnappers in Pakistan and taking delivery of the ransom money, which had been collected by family and friends.
Awan, 55, of Toller Grove, Heaton, Bradford, who had known Mr Mughal's family for years, played a different role.
Mr Mitchell said: "He posed as a concerned friend of the Bradford family and insinuated himself into the group that raised the ransom money and organised its delivery."
"All the time he was in secret contact with Sarwar and working with the criminals to ensure that the plot was a successful one."
1) Mosque founder is jailed over kidnap