A STUDENT who was held hostage in a Huddersfield house as part of a $2m kidnap plot has told a jury how he spent at least four hours tied to a chair in a smelly bathroom.
Lushui Wu, 18, was tricked into coming to West Yorkshire from London on the pretext of visiting two friends he knew from his local takeaway, but after eating a meal at the house in Manor Street he smoked a ready-prepared cannabis cigarette and fell asleep.
The teenager was bound and gagged by Qun Xue and Ting Fu Guo after he woke up. A jury heard yesterday how the kidnappers quizzed him at knifepoint about his millionaire parents and their shipping business.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Mr Wu had initially fallen asleep on a mattress in a first-floor room, but after he was tied up he was physically carried to a second-floor bathroom where his arms and legs were bound to a chair.
Mr Wu described how he was told not to speak too loudly and punched in the chest.
The pair threatened to kill him if he didn’t give them information about his parents including their mobile phone numbers and home address.
During the questioning Xue was alleged to have said he needed the money to pay off gambling debts.
Mr Wu estimated that the interrogation lasted about an hour and initially the kidnappers wanted to get $5m from his parents.
But Mr Wu said he told the men that the company had made a lot of investments and his parents would not be able to get that sum in two or three days.
The teenager said at first the men didn’t want it to look like a kidnap so they told him to tell his mother that he had lost $2m in a casino.
Mr Wu said his parents wouldn’t believe that and eventually one of the men called the teenager’s mother and told her that her son had been kidnapped.
They demanded the $2m in two days and forced the student to speak to his mother.
Mr Wu said he was in the bathroom for a least four hours.
“How did you feel during that period?’’ asked prosecutor Paul Greaney QC.
“I felt really sick – it smelled disgusting in the bathroom,’’ replied Mr Wu.
After the call was made the men physically carried their hostage and the chair into another room.
Mr Wu was held captive in the house for a further five days until armed police raided the premises following a successful surveillance operation.
The kidnappers made a series of ransom demand calls during that period and in the final call before the police swooped they threatened to cut off one of Mr Wu’s fingers.
Mr Wu has told the jury how he had become friendly with Xue, Guo, their girlfriends and Hang Yu, the owner of his local Chinese takeaway in London.
Xue, 26, of Springdale Avenue, Thornton Lodge, and Guo, 26, of no fixed abode, have already admitted being part of the conspiracy to kidnap Mr Wu and blackmail his parents. Ming Ming Zheng, 38, of Springdale Street, Huddersfield, and Yu, 21, are on trial having denied the conspiracy charges.
Guo’s girlfriend Min Fang He, 24, of Burdett Road, London and Xue’s partner Hong Zhu, 27, of Pear Close, London have also denied charges of conspiracy to kidnap and conspiracy to blackmail.
The trial continues.