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Marbella businessman's nightmare: extortion, beatings and kidnappings

Marbella businessman's nightmare: extortion, beatings and kidnappings

The National Police, in a major operation, have arrested seven French men for their alleged involvement in the crimes and their suspected membership of an "extremely violent" criminal gang

Irene Quirante

Wednesday, 29 November 2023, 21:56

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Spain's National Police, in a major operation, have arrested seven French men, aged between 29 and 50, for their alleged involvement in extortion, beating and kidnapping a 37-year-old businessman from Marbella. The gang, described as "extremely violent" by the security force, targeted their victim in June when a member visited his premises and offered to buy his business.

When he refused, his visitor's response, according to the victim, was to demand a payment of 5,000 euros per month for the control of the business. The victim did not intend to give in to this extortion and said so. A few days later, several individuals showed up at his premises and dragged him out with his hands tied. After putting him in a car, they took him to a wooded area where he was brutally beaten for hours, tortured with burns, and threatened with death, according to the provincial police station.

Hours later, the businessman was released close to a shopping centre in Fuengirola. He was so frightened that he did not even dare to go to a hospital to be treated for his injuries but went straight to the police station.

An investigation was launched in which the suspects were identified. Barely a week had passed when the victim was again visited by the assailants, who showed up at his establishment carrying firearms in order to kidnap him for the second time.

Despite their investigations, the police were unable to find the victim. After a few hours, the man turned up at the Local Police station in Marbella, covered in blood, having been brutally beaten.

At the beginning of July, a large security deployment was carried out which located the alleged perpetrators and led to their arrests. Officers carried out five house searches in Alhaurín de la Torre, Mijas, Benalmádena and Vélez-Málaga.

The operation involved personnel from specialist police units, as well as officers from different local police stations in Malaga. According to the provincial police station, the French gang also specialised in robberies between drug dealers.

The police seized 22 kilos of marijuana, almost six kilos of hashish, two vehicles, stolen number plates and several firearms. Those arrested were handed over to the judicial authorities for investigation for the crimes of kidnapping, injury, membership of a criminal organisation, drug trafficking and illegal possession of weapons.

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