Seven Manchester men have been jailed for a "terrifying" hold-up that saw the gang threaten two male hostages with weapons and demanded they phone their wives to beg for money.
The group, led by 44-year-old Muslim 'spiritual leader' turned vigilante Tariq Dhamial, known as "The Priest" to followers, threatened the pair with a hammer, knife, and hot iron after luring them to a house in Wordworth Avenue, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, on the premise they were completing a house sale.
However, after arriving at the address they soon became hostages and were told to pay £14,000 (€17,800).
The group took a wallet, watch, bracelet, phone, and keys from one of the victims and threatened to assault both of them if they didn't pay the money.
Both victims were forced to ring their wives and arrange the transfer of £5000 and £9000 into two of the offender's bank accounts. When they spoke to their wives they told them they were being held hostage.
The men were held overnight and the next day the police arrived at the address and arrested five of the offenders. The other two men were arrested within a matter of days.
Fateh Kashief Ahmed, 48, Shakoor Ahmed Butt, 35, Shazwan Ashraf, 31, Ghulam Ali, 33, all from Cheetham Hill; Tariq Dhamial, 54, of Blackley; Abdul Zubair Qadus, 33, of Salford; and Mohammed Khateer Ali, 31, all pleaded guilty to two counts of false imprisonment.
Dhamial was sentenced to four years in prison, while Kashief Ahmed, Ahmed Butt, Shazwan Ashraf, Ali, and Abdul Zubair Qadus were all sentenced to 32 months for each count, with the sentences to run concurrently.
Khateer Ali was sentenced to 27 months for each count, with the sentences to run concurrently.
Senior Investigating Officer Duncan Thorpe said: "The victims were severely beaten and threatened for money that the offenders believed was owed to them from a previous fraud.
"A separate investigation is being conducted in relation to the fraudulent activities of the two victims, but unfortunately the offenders in this case decided to take matters into their own hands and inflict violence upon the victims.
"They kept the two victims prisoner for a couple of days and this was clearly a terrifying experience for both men, but today justice has been done."