London Police arrested five people Saturday for allegedly plotting to kidnap Spice Girl Victoria Beckham by ambushing her outside her house with a chemical knockout spray, Scotland Yard and a British newspaper said.
Police said officers had arrested four men and one woman they believed were part of the conspiracy to kidnap Beckham whose husband is England soccer captain David Beckham after the News of the World tabloid tipped them off. The arrests came during two raids in London, police said.
While Scotland Yard did not officially say that Victoria Beckham, Posh Spice in the band the Spice Girls, was the plotters' intended victim, a police spokeswoman confirmed she was.
The newspaper, which said its reporters had infiltrated the gang of Romanian and Albanian kidnappers, reported that they planned to ambush Victoria Beckham in front of her home north of London, and use a chemical spray to sedate her and any companions.
If either of her two sons were with her, the tabloid said, the kidnappers would seize them too.
They planned to take their captives to a house in Brixton, south London, and demand $7.8 million ransom, the paper reported.
"I'm stunned by what has happened today," the paper quoted Victoria Beckham as saying. "It's clear these people were serious and that, of course, has scared the life out of me."
David Beckham, who plays for England's national soccer team and Manchester United, is one of Britain's biggest sports stars, and the Beckhams are among the country's most popular celebrities.
Victoria Beckham gave birth in September to the couple's second child, a boy named Romeo.
The five, whose names were not released, were being detained Saturday, the spokeswoman added.
Police foiled a 1999 kidnap plot against Victoria Beckham and her older son Brooklyn, although no one was arrested in that case. Victoria Beckham said later that she and her husband had hired a bodyguard.