The suspects were demanding $3 million in ransom from the man's relatives in Ecuador. Kidnappers allegedly forced the victim into an SUV in broad daylight on Roosevelt Avenue in Queens, according to a news release from the Queens District Attorney's office.
Suspects Christian Acuna, 35, Dennis Alves, 32, and Eduardo Moncayo, 38, are waiting to be arraigned on charges of first- and second-degree kidnapping and first-degree unlawful imprisonment. They face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.
Police say Moncayo approached 52-year-old Pedro Portugal on April 18 in Queens, flashing what looked like a New York City police badge. Moncayo and another man then allegedly grabbed Portugal and drove off. They put a mask over his face, punched him, and held a knife to his stomach, according to police.
The suspects allegedly took him to a warehouse, tied him to a chair, and demanded he call his mother to request the $3 million ransom. During the time Portugal was kept in the warehouse, a group of masked men burned his hand with acid, threatened to cut off his fingers, and kill him and beat him severely.
A New York City detective found him on May 20. Portugal is a married father of six and he owns an accounting business on Roosevelt Avenue, where the abduction allegedly took place, The New York Times reported. Police aren't sure why the kidnappers targeted him because he and his family aren't exceedingly wealthy.
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