The suspect, who police say is part of an organized crime gang dedicated to extortion and blackmail, denied the allegations during the hearing on Monday.
The male victim who reported the incident said their business partner, a woman, told them of her intention to sell her stake in the Chinese restaurant.
“We were asked for €50,000, but that seemed to be too much so we rejected the offer,” he explained.
Instead of reducing the asking price, “she came to the restaurant with the accused and demanded €78,000. He told us if we did not accept he would get the Malaysian Mafia to come to the restaurant every night to collect the day’s takings, and if we stopped him, he would cut off our hands,” he told the court.
Hours later, the suspect allegedly returned to the restaurant and threatened them again. “He told me if I did not pay, I was dead. That he would cut off my arms and legs. I was very scared, because everyone knows he belongs to the mafia,” he said.
The victim’s wife echoed her husbands testimony and claimed that in 2004 they had paid €3,000 to the accused to avoid ‘problems.’
Following the arrest of the accused, police investigations revealed there were other victims of extortion by the gang.
Some victims had allegedly paid this ‘mafia’ gang €16,000 for fear of reprisals.