Detective Inspector Michael McDonnell said: "At approximately 9.30pm, four masked persons, who were believed to have been armed with a knife and handgun, forcefully entered a property in Landsdowne Road and attacked the two occupants.
"The attackers then spent some time ransacking the property and assaulted a male occupant.
"The attackers then forced the male occupant into a white ford transit van and a female occupant into a red Mercedes SUV.
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"The victims were then held and driven around for a period of time, before both vehicles were left parked up in the Ardoyne area.
“At this point, the male victim was able to free himself and raise the alarm.
"The female occupant of the other vehicle was subsequently located and freed.
"She was understandably terrified, but physically unharmed."
He added: "This was a despicable, vicious and prolonged attack which has left the victims very shaken.
"I am appealing to anyone within the Landsdowne Road area to think about any vehicles or persons they may have seen in the area in recent days and weeks who may have been acting suspiciously.
“In particular, I am appealing to anyone in the area with CCTV, or indeed anyone with a dashcam who was driving in the area from 9pm through to 11.30pm on Sunday 15th December, to review their footage and contact Detectives at Musgrave quoting reference number 2004 15/12/19.
“Any information which may seem irrelevant could potentially be of great significance as part of our overall investigation.”
“Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime.”