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Trio accused of kidnapping, beating pair in botched drug deal

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Police allege the victims, aged 28 and 29, were given $9,000 by the trio to pick up three ounces of the drug ice from Sydney – only to discover they’d been sold a bag of salt.

Three people have faced court today after a bungled drug-deal sparked a violent alleged kidnapping of two men near Wollongong.

In documents tendered to Wollongong court, police allege the victims, aged 28 and 29, were given $9000 by the trio to pick up three ounces of the drug ice from Sydney - only to discover they'd been sold a bag of salt.

Discovering they'd been ripped off upon their return to the Illawarra, police alleged the victims agreed to pay the money back to the group.

After meeting at a service station in Cringila on Monday morning detectives say the alleged victims drove to a nearby unit with Ben Walker, 43, and Tara-Marie Tomyn Clare, 35.

Once inside the unit, one of the men was forced into a small crawl space in the laundry and told the pair weren't allowed to leave until the drug debt was paid, according to police.

Mr Walker allegedly threatened the pair with a tomahawk, telling them: "I'm going to chop you and then go to your parents if you tell the police."

Court documents alleged the 28-year-old victim was kept in the crawl space for almost 18 hours without food and water.

Mr Walker is then accused of beating the man, including breaking his kneecap with the blunt end of a tomahawk.

Police said it was only until the 29-year-old victim's mother transferred $4000 into his bank account that the pair were let go yesterday afternoon.

It is alleged a third person - Ilo Lievski – tried to facilitate the payment.

After being alerted by one of the victims' mothers, officers arrested the trio yesterday evening as they drove through Towradgi, just north of Wollongong.

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All three have been charged with kidnap in company with intent to commit serious indictable offence occasioning actual bodily harm.

Mr Lievski was also charged with deal with property proceeds of crime after allegedly trying to mediate the exchange of cash between the parties.

Both men were denied bail in Wollongong court today.

Ms Clare was granted bail after her defence lawyer, Graham Morrison told the magistrate she'd played no part in the alleged kidnapping and was asleep at the time of the attack.

All three will re-appear before magistrate in July.

Source: 9News

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