Man charged in kidnap plot

GORLESTON was at the centre of a major police operation this week which saw armed officers make a string of arrests linked to an attempted kidnap plot.

Four men and one woman were arrested on Tuesday during a series of raids at eight addresses in Gorleston, Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Rackheath during an operation which lasted for most of the day.

Police said the five had been arrested on suspicion of kidnap, false imprisonment and conspiracy to kidnap.

A sixth man was also arrested during the operation in connection with an unrelated incident, and on Wednesday another man living in North Norfolk was questioned by police after handing himself into police in Norwich.

As the operation unfolded, police were seen leading a man away from a house in Gorleston High Street, close to the Short Blue Pub. The street was sealed off for around an hour as armed officers surrounded the house.

Neighbours believe the arrested man was a Lithuanian, who had been living in the area.

One 37-year-old woman, who lives close by, said she saw an interpreter at the scene ordering a man out of the house.

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“My mum rang up because of the police dogs which were going mental and they woke her dogs up,” she said. “She looked out and there were at least eight police cars and they had two big vans at either end of the road. She saw one guy get taken into the van, and armed police had guns pointing at the house.

“The whole road had been closed off at both ends,” she added. “I heard them bash the door in with one of their ramming things. There must have been five police with their guns hiding behind the car, and they arrested one person who lives across the road.”

A Norfolk Constabulary spokeswoman said the warrants are part of on-going investigation relating to allegations of kidnap.

“Armed officers together with officers from our Major Investigation Team have carried out warrants at eight premises in Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Gorleston,” he said. “Four men and a woman have been arrested as part of an on-going investigation relating to allegations of kidnap.”

Yesterday Valerijius Biriukas, 39, of High Street, Gorleston, was remanded in custody until December 16 after being charged with kidnap. One man was still being questioned and the rest had been released on police bail.