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Extortionist arrested in Graz after murder threats

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Extortionist arrested in Graz after murder threats
Photo: Paul Gillingwater
15:15 CET+01:00
A 24-year-old man has been arrested after demanding that a woman in Carinthia pay him €310,000, or he would kill her two children.

He also told her he had planted bombs in and around her house.

She told the police, and special ops officers were able to arrest the man when she went to the agreed place to hand over the money.

The 53-year-old woman from Völkermarkt received an email on November 30th from an unknown sender, demanding she give him the money otherwise he would kill her two adult children.

He said he had left three explosive devices - in her house and the surrounding area - which he could detonate at any time. He also told her that she was under constant observation, and seemed to know a lot about her house and her family.

Gottlieb Türk, head of the Carinthian police service, said the woman was shocked and scared when she received the email. The man told her that she had to drop off the money in two instalments on Saturday night - at an address in Graz and another in Völkermarkt. "He gave very precise instructions about when and where the money was to be deposited," Türk said. When she told the police they decided to lie in wait for the man in central Graz. When he turned up at the arranged meeting place, they arrested him.

He turned out to be a young unemployed man, also from Völkermarkt, who knew the woman and her family but was not a close friend. He told the police that he needed money and assumed that she had access to large sums of cash. It's not clear why he decided to ask for a specific sum of €310,000, or why the money had to be handed over in Graz, in the state of Styria.

He managed to conceal his location and identity very well when sending the email. He has no previous criminal record. He's now being held in custody in Klagenfurt.

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