A TERRIFYING ‘sextortion’ ring that threatened to send hitmen to the families of punters looking to pay for sex if they did not continually cough up thousands has been thwarted.
The Guardia Civil arrested two men and three women from the ruthless gang in A Coruña and Valencia after one victim in San Juan de Alicante reported their embarrassing ordeal.
The modus operandi of the gang involved luring clients over social media with promises of sexual encounters that were never fulfilled.
Once the client had taken the bait, the criminal group would initiate their scheme, threatening to harm the victim or their family if they refused to comply with their demands.
The trio of women operated by advertising their services online, and once a potential customer made contact, one of the male members would take over.
He would immediately demand an upfront payment for the supposed sexual encounter.
This illicit transaction would quickly escalate into threats of violence and harm, leaving victims terrified and cornered into making the payments.
Although the scheduled meetings never took place, the criminals still demanded a sum of money to compensate for the time of the fictitious sex worker.
Once the victim made the initial payment, the culprits would up their demands, forcing the victim to pay additional sums for supposed hitmen fees.
In one case, a single victim was conned out of a staggering €11,500, so afraid was he of the consequences if he did not.
The gang employed numerous phone numbers and bank accounts, with the women acting as intermediaries, receiving a portion of the extorted money, which was then funnelled into other accounts.
One of the men was the ‘heavy’ responsible for carrying out the menacing threats, while a 49-year-old man masterminded the entire operation from his residence in A Coruña.
All five of the arrested suspects have prior records related to similar crimes, which suggests they may have operated other such schemes in the past.
The case, named ‘Operation Lucrator,’ began after a victim reported the incident to the Guardia Civil in San Juan de Alicante.
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