30 Nov 2014

Police seek two over alleged kidnapping

9:23 pm on 30 November 2014

Police are continuing their hunt for two men, Pita Wilson and Joshua Veint, wanted over an alleged kidnapping in Queenstown on Wednesday.

They continued to fear for the safety of the victim.

Joseph Armstong, 22, was taken from a property in Queenstown four days ago and had not been heard from since, police said.

Joseph Armstrong

Joseph Armstrong Photo: NZ POLICE

Police have arrested two men in relation to the alleged kidnapping.

A 17-year-old man of no-fixed-abode was charged with kidnapping and would appear in the Queenstown District Court tomorrow.

Another man, 36, was also arrested in Invercargill last night and charged with being an accessory after the fact. The second man has been released on bail.

Police said they were still looking for Pita Wilson, 38, and and Joshua James Veint, 23 - and were not giving details about why Mr Armstrong was abducted.

The arrests increased the number of people believed to be involved to four, with police initially saying they were only seeking three men.

Two other men taken at the same time as Mr Armstong were later freed.

Police were giving no details on their condition or why they were abducted.

Plea for grandson to give himself up

Mr Veint's grandfather begged his grandson to give himself up, earlier today.

"He shouldn't have got involved and his father has texted him telling him to go to the police.

"There's no future in hiding anywhere."

Jim Veint said his grandson was employed as a driver by Mr Wilson who had lost his licence.

Concern for victim's safety

Acting Senior Sergeant Jared Kirk said he was very concerned for Mr Armstrong's safety.

"It is serious because we have haven't seen the male for a few days so we are obviously concerned for his welfare and the longer it goes on, it causes us to become more concerned."

Pita Wilson (L) and Joshua James Veint (R)

Pita Wilson (L) and Joshua James Veint (R) Photo: NZ POLICE

Mr Kirk said there had been several raids by armed officers - including one in Frankton - which had so far yielded little but the two other victims of the attack were safe.

"They've been interviewed and they've given an account of what's happened, and it's now believed that they're victims of this incident," he said.

"I can't comment on the condition of them, or whether they were physically harmed, but I can say they have spoken to police regarding this matter."

Mr Kirk said police were not sure if the wanted men were still in the area.

Wilson a former rugby player

Mr Wilson, 38, once played rugby for North Harbour and the Southland Stags and, eight years ago, survived a gangland assassination attempt on Australia's Gold Coast.

In 2006, he was shot up to six times in the stomach, hands and shoulder and left for dead on a secluded road.

The man charged with his attempted murder had links to the notorious Finks bikie gang.

Mr Wilson now played for the Wakatipu Rugby Club and worked at a nearby quarry.

His manager Jono Sutherland said he had heard tales about Mr Wilson's colourful past but had seen no signs of trouble.

"He was a hard worker and he talked about his job a lot, but there was no inkling of that sort of stuff."

Police earlier warned that the men they sought should not be approached by the public.

They wanted anyone who had seen them or knew of their whereabouts to come forward with information.

They were also looking for sightings of a white Toyota Hilux and a white Suzuki saloon.

Police are looking for sightings of a white Toyota Hilux in relation to the kidnapping.

Police are looking for sightings of a white Toyota Hilux in relation to the kidnapping. Photo: NZ POLICE