THREE Alicante area loan sharks have been arrested after lending €3,000 to a business owner and then threatening violence against him to bank €30,000 of payments over a year.

The detained Spaniards- two men and a woman and all members of the same family- have been charged with extortion.

The victim, involved in the construction trade, went to the Policia Nacional in Alicante to report the continuous threats he received from the trio after they extracted ten times more than the original loan.

The initial deal was that he’d get the €3,000 he wanted under the condition that he would have to repay double the amount the following month.

The lenders gave the man the impression that they were intermediaries and that the money was coming from a ‘dangerous’ man who would assault them if they did not refund what he gave them.

Once the businessman got his loan, he rustled up €5,000 for the next month, but was €1,000 short of what had been agreed, leading the trio to start a fresh set of demands and threats.

The intimidation included the victim being forced to download an app for his phone that deletes conversations after a short period of time, so that threats and requests for money could not be supplied to the police if he reported them.

The extortionists demanded a monthly payment of €2,500 which was handed over for several consecutive months.

He was also forced to carry out masonry work at a shop owned by them and to hire two workers chosen by the lenders that were paid a higher salary than the rest of his crew.

Within a few months, he had shelled out around €30,000 to the lenders with no sign of the extortion plot ending, which finally led him to go to the police.

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