A MAN in Barcelona has been tortured over a debt owed between members of the “Casuals” gang.
The victim, named only as Ernesto, was allegedly called to a hotel room in the early hours of the morning under false pretences, by a group of criminals claiming to have kidnapped his friend.
Ernesto awoke to a WhatsApp message at 3.32am purporting to be from his friend Javier’s phone.
The text told him he had to go to the Casa Fuster hotel and pay €280 for Javier to be released.
Once Ernesto reached the hotel, he was tortured over a debt relating to the Casuals gang, allegedly the most violent collection within the Boixos Nois, an ultra-right group of Barcelona Football Club supporters.
As Ernesto entered the room, a man named as Jose Maria is said to have hit him on the back with a large kitchen knife, before another man, Jacobo, appeared with another knife.
The pair allegedly took him into a windowless room and told him, “start thinking about here to get the money. We have your friend cut into pieces in the bathtub.” They reportedly then bound his feet and hands.
Ernesto managed to gain the advantage, however, while the men were distracted, and managed to, “push one of his attackers and flee for the terrace,” according to the judge investigating the case.
The victim then jumped onto the terrace of a neighbouring room, whose occupants helped him escape.
Ernesto later got into a taxi and took refuge at a friend’s house.
His attackers caught up with him, however, and Ernesto says Jacobo burned his left leg with a blowtorch, while the pair also placed a plastic bag over his head, and Jose Maria stabbed him in one finger and in the thigh.
Ernesto says he tried to call a friend to get them to hand over money to his attackers but received no reply, which angered Jacobo and Jose Maria.
The friend finally returned his call though and agreed to meet as a Repsol garage to hand over €4,000 to a “fat and bald man.”
There, Ernesto was allowed to change his blood-soaked trousers and was released.
A court in Barcelona has now brought Jose Maria and Jacobo- said to be habitual cocaine users- to trial on suspicion of kidnapping, injury, robbery, misappropriation, extortion and deprivation of privacy.