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Three men charged after man kidnapped at Vaughan restaurant in case of mistaken identity

A York Regional Police patch is shown Dec, 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey A York Regional Police patch is shown Dec, 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Arlyn McAdorey

Three men are facing charges in connection with the armed kidnapping of a man at a Vaughan restaurant last month in what police believe is a case of mistaken identity.

York Regional Police said officers responded to an establishment on McCleary Court in the early morning hours of Aug. 27 for a report of an abduction.

When officers arrived, they learned that three suspects armed with guns forcibly took a 37-year-old man into a vehicle and drove away. During the kidnapping, one of the suspects fired a shot in the air, police said.

Shortly after, the suspects allegedly sent a ransom demand to a person known to the victim. However, a few hours later, the suspects released the man, police said.

He then returned to the scene, where he spoke to officers.

“It is believed the suspects abducted the wrong person and released him upon realizing it,” police said in a news release on Thursday.

The victim suffered minor injuries during the ordeal.

After identifying the suspects, police executed search warrants at their residences in Toronto earlier this week. However, the suspects were not at home, and officers learned that they were away in Cancun, Mexico and were returning soon.

As a result, police obtained arrest warrants and notified the Canada Border Services Agency about the investigation.

On Wednesday, the suspects were taken into custody at Toronto Pearson Airport.

Police identified them as 25-year-old Muktar Mohamed, 26-year-old Musse Musse and 22-year-old Omar Ayah.

They have been charged with kidnapping with a firearm, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, possession of a loaded/prohibited firearm, unauthorized possession of a prohibited/restricted firearm and use of a firearm in the commission of an indictable offence.

Musse and Mohamed are facing additional charges of reckless discharge of a firearm and possession for the purpose of trafficking, respectively.

Police continue to ask anyone with information about the investigation to contact them at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7441 or Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or Top Stories

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