Four freed after kidnap ordeal
Four people were rescued by police today following a so-called tiger kidnapping.
The three women and a man were freed at around 9.15am after being held overnight at a house in Glen Parade, west Belfast.
They were held hostage while a second man was ordered to go to his place of work in the south of the city, collect cash and leave it at a designated drop in greater Belfast.
The Police Service of Northern Ireland said that, when they were made aware of the incident, they mounted an operation to rescue the hostages.
The four people held in the house and the man who was ordered to collect the cash were all safe and unharmed, said a spokesman.
One neighbour today told the Belfast Telegraph that he saw around 30 police officers surround the house at around 9.15am. He said that a number of them forced their way in through the back door.
The man added that he believes the three women lived in the house and were all students.
“The girls are all in their 20s and I think they are students. They all seem to be very nice girls. I am sure they must be traumatised,” he added.
Neighbours have spoken of their shock on hearing that four people had been held hostage overnight.
One said: “I heard some commotion after 9am but I thought police were carrying out a raid of some sort. It’s shocking to think some poor people were being held hostage overnight and we knew nothing about it.”
Police appealed for information about the kidnapping and urged anyone who saw any suspicious activity in the Glen Parade area at around 1am to contact them.
Sinn Fein West Belfast MLA Paul Maskey condemned those responsible for the kidnapping and also urged anyone with information to contact police.
Mr Maskey said: "Those behind this kidnapping and subsequent robbery have left a number of people distraught and fearful.
"The local community will be extremely angry in relation to anybody being targeted and held in such a way.
"Sinn Fein are calling on anyone with information surrounding this incident to come forward and provide it to the police so that those responsible can be brought to justice."