Party boat millionaire escapes alleged ‘car crash’ kidnap
GUNMAN allegedly tried to kidnap high-flying Sydney businessman Joe Elias by crashing into his car on a busy road last Friday, police have revealed today.
Police believe the attempted abduction had been planned over several days and they staged the accident on Victoria Road at Drummoyne so he would get out of his car where they would snatch him and hold him for ransom.
Police said two men have been arrested in connection with the incident, which they allege is linked to the $4 million ransom plot last November of a St Mary's businessman later found bashed in an abandoned shed.
Detectives believe the plan was to snatch Mr Elias and hold him for ransom similar to other alleged kidnappings in Sydney over the past year.
The 52-year-old, however, was able to escape.
Mr Elias, a property developer also owns a number of Sydney Harbour party boats through a company called All Occasion Cruises.
He hit headlines last year when a passenger on the Lady Rose, Shalina Abdulhussein was gassed on board the vessel from fumes which leaked into a toilet.
The attempted abduction of the millionaire is one of a string police are investigating.
"People are being held against their will in frightening circumstances," said acting detective Superintendent Grant Taylor, commander of the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad.
"A number of items were sized for forensic testing including two handguns," he said.
"The links between the hostages or would be victims and alleged offenders is still a matter of investigation," Detective Taylor said.
Two men aged 40 and 39 are due in Penrith court today.
"We do expect more arrests," he said.