Brother of Test cricketer Stuart MacGill’s ex-girlfriend arrested over alleged kidnap
The brother of Stuart MacGill’s ex-girlfriend is one of the men charged over his alleged kidnapping in Sydney.
The former Test cricketer was allegedly grabbed just 100 metres from his home in Cremorne on Sydney’s north shore and dragged into a car two weeks ago.
Four men were charged today after Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton said that police will allege that the 50-year-old was targeted for financial reasons.
Former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill did not alert police of his alleged kidnap for almost a week because of “significant fear” for his safety.
Four men were charged over the alleged kidnapping today after Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton said the 50-year-old was targeted for financial reasons when he was dragged into a car from Sydney’s Lower North Shore two weeks ago.
“I believe that the motive was purely financial, he was seen as someone that they could get money from,” Mr Holton said.
One of the men charged is Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, the brother of MacGill’s former partner Maria O’Meagher.
MacGill and O’Meagher worked together in her Neutral Bay restaurant Aristotles before it was sold.
Sotiropoulos, from Brighton Le Sands in Sydney’s south, has been charged with kidnapping and supplying large commercial quantity of cocaine.
Three others – aged 27, 29 and 42 – were arrested in Caringbah, Sutherland and Banksia, in Sydney’s south.
Earlier, police said MacGill did not immediately report the kidnapping due to “significant fear” for his safety.
“The delay in reporting was due to the significant fear instilled in the man,” Mr Holton said, who did not formally identify MacGill as the victim.
When asked if MacGill owed the alleged kidnappers money, Mr Holton replied: “I’m not able to comment, unfortunately.”
“I can say that his kidnapping is not involved in any other backstory that leads to him having to a personal debt to other people that he had to pay back.”
He said no ransom was requested.
MacGill was being “purely been treated as a victim” of the alleged kidnapping, Mr Holton said.
“Everyone experiences trauma differently,” Mr Holton said, when asked why it took MacGill six days to report the alleged kidnapping.
Mr Holton alleged MacGill had been a victim of a “criminal gang”.
The former Australian spin bowler, who was allegedly bundled into a car and driven to multiple locations in Sydney’s west and inner-west, suffered minor injuries but did not need medical treatment.
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“To be standing on the street in Cremorne, to to be dragged into a car, to be driven to remote location, physically assaulted, threatened with a firearm (and) held for a period of time then dumped, I think you’d be pretty worried about your own personal safety, the safety of your family and your friends,” Mr Holton said.
“I know it’s only an hour that he was held. But it would have been a horribly frightful hour to endure.”
Four men were arrested this morning after a series of search warrants were executed across Sydney.
The two men in their twenties were taken to Sutherland Police Station and both charged with participate criminal group contribute criminal activity and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.
The 42-year-old Banksia man was charged with knowingly direct activities of criminal group and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.
Police said MacGill remains “quite shaken” after the ordeal that started about 8pm on April 14 when he was allegedly confronted by the older man near Cremorne.
A short time later the pair was approached by two other men and MacGill was allegedly forced into a vehicle.
He was then allegedly driven to a property at Bringelly, about 50 kilometres west of Cremorne, where the two men, plus another unknown man, allegedly assaulted MacGill and threatened him with a firearm.
About an hour later, MacGill was allegedly driven back to Belmore, in Sydney’s inner-west, and released.
The incident was reported to North Shore Police Area Command on April 20, six days after the alleged kidnap.
Officers today raided homes at Sutherland, Caringbah, Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville.
During the raids, police seized including electronic devices, clothing and a vehicle which they described as “relevant” to the kidnapping investigation.
MacGill was a leg-spin bowler who claimed 208 wickets in his 44 Test career.
Investigations by the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad are continuing.