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Paramus Kindapping Plot Thwarted

Mohammed Ranko

A 66-year-old Hasbrouck Heights man was arrested on Aug. 14 and charged with coordinating the kidnapping of a Paramus businessman, officials said.

The arrest of Mohammed Ranko, an inmate at the Bergen County jail, came about as a result of an investigation that began early this month when the Hackensack Police Department received a tip about a plot to hire a group of men to carry out a kidnapping plan. This information was turned over to the Paramus Police Department, who, assisted by the Bergen County Sheriff’s Office and Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office, initiated an investigation. Paramus Detective Sgt. Robert Von Schalscha was able to determine that Ranko hired an ex-inmate put together a crew to kidnap the owner of a Paramus business with whom Ranko had an ongoing financial disagreement.

By the time police received the initial information, Ranko’s crew had already allegedly purchased ski masks, tape, ropes and wire to bound the victim. They had also obtained a van that was to be used to drag the victim out of a Paramus parking lot. The suspects had also located and broken into an Englewood cemetery where they intended to restrain the victim until they received further orders from Ranko. The suspect was supposed to pay the kidnapping crew $1 million cash upon completion of the job, police said.

The investigation is still active and criminal complaints against other conspirators are pending. Ranko was charged with conspiracy to commit kidnapping and remains at the Bergen County jail on  $500,000 bail. He has been incarcerated at the Hackensack jail since November 2011 when he was arrested by Paramus police for an unrelated kidnapping and aggravated assault case.


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