Financial Crime Squad detectives from Western Australia stormed three homes last week, arresting the men in their homes.
Police allege the 19-year-old attended a home on Walter Road West in the Perth suburb of Inglewood around 9pm on January 28.
He attended the home, a short-stay accommodation property not linked to anyone involved, to meet someone he owed money to.
Police allege the three men were waiting at the home and when the 19-year-old told them he was unable to pay the debt, he was choked unconscious and bound by cable ties.
Over the next few hours, police allege the trio used the 19-year-old’s mobile phone to contact his terrified family and demand tens of thousands of dollars more than the original debt.
The trio allegedly told the family they would harm the 19-year-old if they didn’t comply with their demands and also sent the family a video of the teenager bound on the floor.
During the harrowing ordeal, police allege the teenager “received cut wounds to two of his toes” before he was again choked unconscious.
After being left bound on the floor overnight, the victim was driven to a home 15 minutes away in Inglewood where he was thrown out of the vehicle.
He was found by police a short time later at a nearby home.
St John Ambulance also attended and took the 19-year-old to hospital to be treated.
On January 30, detectives from the Financial Crimes Squad executed search warrants at a home on Broun Ave in Embleton, arresting a 23-year-old; a home on Cowra Turn in Aveley, arresting a 26-year-old; and a home on Kensington St in East Perth where another 26-year-old man was arrested.
All three men have been charged with detaining another with intending to gain a benefit (kidnapping), demanding property by oral threats (extortion) and unlawful wounding.
All three appeared in Perth Magistrates Court on January 31 where they were refused bail to appear in the same court on February 28.
In a statement, Financial Crimes Squad Detective Senior Sergeant Ken Foster said the alleged crime called for a significant police response.
“Such a situation would be terrifying for any person to be in, and no-one should be subjected to such violent acts. The alleged offences should shock and horrify every member of the community,” he said.
“It would be any parent’s worst nightmare to receive such vision of their child, and to be subjected to such threats. In this instance family members became extremely distressed as a result of receiving the video and associated threats made towards their son.
“Unfortunately, while crimes of this nature should not occur, it is an example of the risks a person exposes themselves, and their families to when they start to associate with people involved in illicit drugs and/or other criminal activity. It is easy for good families to find themselves involved in a world that is dangerous and unpredictable.
“Regardless of the circumstances, and whether someone is owed a debt, the series of events that we are alleging took place that night are simply unacceptable and will not be tolerated in our community.
“This serious crime resulted in a significant police response, firstly with officers working throughout the night to locate and check on the welfare of the kidnapped man, and then secondly to investigate and identify those offenders involved.”