Earlier this week, the Queens County District Attorney announced that three men have been charged with kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment in connection with the bold kidnapping of an Ecuadorian businessman. The men are alleged to have kidnapped Pedro Portugal from a Queens street in broad daylight and kept him in a Long Island City warehouse for over a month in a plot to ransom him for $3 million.
Now, new details on how New York City Police detectives saved Portugal are coming to light.
According to a Reuters report, NYPD detectives traced Portugal’s possible location by cross-referencing addresses associated with criminals who recently traveled to Ecuador. On May 20, detectives from the NYPD’s Major Case Squad posed as building inspectors and entered the warehouse. Portugal was found with his hands bound with cloth and duct tape and with a cap covering his eyes.
An NYPD deputy inspector told Reuters that Portugal addressed the detectives by shouting “I’ve been kidnapped!” Meanwhile, one of the suspects in the kidnapping attempted to flee through a warehouse window. The kidnapper, later identified as Christian Acuna of Queens, was caught and arrested by one of the detectives.
Portugal was reportedly beaten and had one of his hands burned with acid during his month-long ordeal. The kidnappers forced him to call his mother in Ecuador and demand $3 million in ransom money. The men now each face 25 years in prison.