Man jailed for kidnapping wealthy businessman at Golf Club


Man jailed for kidnapping wealthy businessman at Golf Club

A gang member has been sentenced today in connection with the kidnapping of a wealthy Chinese businessman from Brocket Hall Golf Club, near Welwyn Garden City.

The victim, who was enjoying a leisurely round of golf at Brocket Hall Golf Club on Tuesday, 24th October 2023, suddenly found himself at the mercy of a group of armed men. 

Tianfu Guo, aged 35, of no fixed abode, was found guilty of the following offences at St Albans Crown Court:

  1. Conspiracy to Kidnap
  2. Conspiracy to Blackmail

He was, however, found not guilty of conspiracy to possess an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence.

Prosecutor Russel Pyne said six other suspects – Liang Tang, Wen Ji Nan, Xianchao Chen, Yazhou Tao, Yuan Gui Jin and Hanzhi Jiang – were on the run.

The Kidnapping Incident

The jury heard that on Tuesday, 24th October 2023, the victim was playing golf at Brocket Hall Golf Club when he was approached by five well-dressed men who claimed to be the Chinese police. These men pointed a pistol at him and forcibly bundled him into a black Audi Q7. Three other individuals who were with the victim had a substance sprayed in their faces. The vehicle, which had cloned license plates, sped off, and the police were immediately alerted.

Police Investigation and Arrest

The Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit launched an immediate investigation to locate the victim safely and apprehend those responsible. Fast-paced police inquiries led to the discovery of Tianfu Guo in central London the following night. Guo had driven to the Chinatown area, where he was arrested at 9:41 PM on October 25.

An SD card recovered from Guo’s vehicle contained surveillance video footage of the victim. Remarkably, just over an hour after Guo’s arrest, the victim was released. He had been held captive in a holiday home rented by the captors in Thursley, Surrey.

The Victim’s Ordeal

During his captivity, the victim endured a traumatic experience. He was confined to a small cage where he couldn’t stand up or stretch his legs. His captors allowed him minimal food – dried beef and biscuits on the day he was taken, followed by an apple and milk the next day. Additionally, he was not allowed to use the toilet.

Several hours after being placed in the cage, the captors began assaulting the victim by hitting his leg with an object. They demanded a ransom of $15 million (about £12m) to be paid in bitcoin. Threats against the safety of his family compelled the victim to comply with their instructions.

After his release, the victim was driven to Cobham in Surrey, where he was warned not to go home or alert the police. Despite these threats, he knocked on the door of the nearest house he could find and sought help. The resident assisted him in calling a taxi to return home. Upon arriving home, the police were already present, and the victim was taken to the hospital. He had sustained injuries to his eyes from being punched by his captors and tightly blindfolded.

The kidnap “had a huge psychological impact on Mr Huang”, the judge added.

Detective Inspector Justine Jenkins, from the Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Hertfordshire Major Crime Unit, said: “This was and remains a complicated case and I am pleased that Guo will be facing justice behind bars. We continue to work hard to ensure that others involved in this offence are also brought to justice.

“It was a fast-moving operation and we quickly established that the victim had been kidnapped in a vehicle which was using cloned plates. I would like to thank all the officers who were involved as their determination meant we quickly arrested Guo and the victim was released before any further harm could be inflicted.

“My thoughts are with the victim today and I commend his bravery. It must have been an incredibly frightening experience which will take a long time to recover from. Kidnappings are often complex to investigate and so I hope the news of this court result is reassuring.”

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