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Queens Man Kidnapped, Tortured and Held in Warehouse for Weeks in Ransom Attempt

Prosecutors say the man was burned with acid and beaten while his family in Ecuador was asked to pay $3 million

Thursday, May 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:05 AM EDT
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Three men have been charged in the kidnapping of another man off a Queens street in broad daylight, holding him for over a month and demanding a $3 million ransom from his family, authorities said Wednesday. Gus Rosendale reports.

NBC 4 New York

Three men have been charged in the kidnapping of another man off a Queens street in broad daylight, holding him for over a month and demanding a $3 million ransom from his family, authorities said Wednesday. Gus Rosendale reports.

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Two New York City men and a New Jersey man have been charged in the kidnapping of another man off a Queens street in broad daylight, accused of holding and torturing him for more than a month while demanding a $3 million ransom from his family in Ecuador, authorities said Wednesday.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Christian Acuna, 35, and Dennis Alves, 32, both of Queens, and Eduardo Moncayo, 38, of Lyndhurst, N.J., are facing charges of kidnapping and unlawful imprisonment. They face 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

Authorities identified the victim as Pedro Portugal, a 52-year-old father of four. They said he was approached on a Jackson Heights street in front of his office on April 18 by several men, including Moncayo, who showed him what looked like a police badge. He was forced into a car, a mask was put over his face, and he was threatened with a knife, authorities said.

Portugal was taken to a warehouse in Long Island City, where he was kept for more than a month, authorities said. Prosecutors say he was burned with acid and beaten, and threatened with mutilation and death. He allegedly was masked and held with his hands bound.

Portugal "suffered physical injuries and has been deeply traumatized by the ordeal. The case warrants vigorous prosecution," Brown said.

His alleged kidnappers forced him to call his mother in Ecuador, asking for the ransom, authorities said.

Police, notified of his disappearance and the ransom call, were searching for him and found him on Monday through phone records and leads. When they got to the scene, they found Portugal and took one of the suspects into custody outside of the building.

It wasn't clear if the suspects had a lawyer.

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