Five Found Guilty of Chiswick Businessman's Kidnap Plot

£10 million plan rested on "honey-trap" secretary securing job at Tradex

The Police in Chiswick

Five people, including a well known drug dealer once accused of killing Irish journalist Veronica Guerin, have been found guilty of plotting to kidnap Chiswick businessman Nasir Zahid.

The court heard how the £10 million plot centred on a a 24-year-old woman acting as a "honey-trap". Her role was to secure a job as a secretary at Zahid's Chiswick Business Park based company and then convince him to ask her out on a date.

This initial plan failed when the woman was told there were no vacancies and before the gang could come up with an alternative plan all five were arrested.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard how ringleader Patrick "Dutchy" Holland, who has always denied any involvement in the 1996 assassination of Ms Guerin, was secretly filmed and recorded planning to abduct a businessman and demand a ransom. The jury found the 68 year old guilty by a unanimous verdict of conspiracy to kidnap. His accomplices 24 year old Khan Coombs - the "honey trap", 38 year old Simon Young, 47 year old Gerrard Booth and 45 year old John McDonnell were also found guilty by a unanimous verdict.

All five will be sentenced on 2nd May.

The verdicts followed a two-month trial during which the jury was shown a large amount of surveillance evidence. Detective Inspector Paul Johnson, of the Metropolitan Police's Special Projects Team, said, "We can confidently say that London is a safer place with these individuals in jail."

March 29, 2008