De Mol victim of extortion attempt
25 May 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch media tycoon John de Mol and several employees of his investment firm Talpa were allegedly threatened with death for weeks on end in December.
25 May 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch media tycoon John de Mol and several employees of his investment firm Talpa were allegedly threatened with death for weeks on end in December.
A 36-year-old man from The Hague is alleged to have threatened to carry out an attack sometime around New Year's Eve unless De Mol paid him EUR 4 million.
According to newspaper 'De Telegraaf', the man was arrested in February and will appear next week in court.
The suspect, Matheus Constantijn T., is charged with extortion and making death threats, the newspaper reported on Wednesday.
Initially, the man is said to have made fake offers on behalf of Talpa for various European soccer clubs, prompting De Mol to lodge a police complaint for fraud.
Talpa was then told to pay EUR 4 million in 'ransom money' to prevent negative media reports about Talpa and telecoms firm Versatel, which is almost 50 percent owned by De Mol. The blackmailer warned of a sharp fall in share prices.
But when De Mol refused to pay, the suspect allegedly threatened to kill him and several Talpa employees.
It is not the first time De Mol has been confronted by extortion.
A group of would-be kidnappers targeted his son Johnny two years ago, but Amsterdam police thwarted the planned abduction of the 24-year-old actor.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news