News, Culture & Society

Stuart MacGill kidnapping twist as two more men charged

Two more men have been charged over the alleged kidnapping of former Australian Test cricketer Stuart MacGill in Sydney.

The retired leg spinner was allegedly confronted by three men in Cremorne, in Sydney’s lower North Shore on April 14, bundled into a car and driven 60km to a two hectare property in Bringelly in the city’s south-west.

He was allegedly stripped naked and beaten until he blacked out in a decrepit shack by captors who threatened to cut off his fingers if he didn’t hand over $150,000 in what police say was a botched cocaine deal thatMacGill had nothing to do with.  

Police allege the two men were at Bringelly when MacGill was taken to the site and helped assault him, along with another man.

The pair – aged 22 and 19 – were on Monday escorted from Silverwater jail to Parramatta Police Station and arrested.

It comes after the duo were allegedly captured on CCTV at a Bunnings hardware store shortly before the alleged kidnapping. 

The two men, aged 19 and 22 (pictured walking into a Bunnings store), have both been charged for their alleged role in the Stuart MacGill ransom plot

McGill is pictured with his partner, Maria O'Meagher. The pair ran a Greek restaurant together, which has since closed down

McGill is pictured with his partner, Maria O’Meagher. The pair ran a Greek restaurant together, which has since closed down

Both were charged with detaining in company and participating in a criminal group, and were remanded in custody to appear at Parramatta Local Court on Tuesday.

The third man who allegedly contributed to MacGill’s assault is outstanding and is still wanted by police.

Four other men have already been charged over the incident and remain before the courts.

The spin bowler earlier this month spoke to Nine’s A Current Affair about a situation ‘that he couldn’t have done much about’.

‘I was in a situation that is foreign to me and I was physically and mentally intimidated,’ MacGill said on the program.

He also told the program: ‘I know I’ve done nothing wrong.’

MacGill was allegedly kidnapped near his Cremorne home and driven about 60km to Bringelly before being released in Burwood Road, Belmore after a four-hour ordeal on April 14

MacGill was allegedly kidnapped near his Cremorne home and driven about 60km to Bringelly before being released in Burwood Road, Belmore after a four-hour ordeal on April 14

Two more men have been charged over the allegedkidnapping plot of former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill. Pictured: One of the men charged is escorted by police

Two more men have been charged over the allegedkidnapping plot of former Test cricketer Stuart MacGill. Pictured: One of the men charged is escorted by police

Stuart MacGill is the general manager of the Greek restaurant Aristotle's at Neutral Bay

His girlfriend, Maria O'Meagher, is the owner of the successful Greek restaurant

Stuart MacGill is the general manager of the Greek restaurant Aristotle’s at Neutral Bay. His girlfriend, Maria O’Meagher, is the owner. It is not suggested she had any role in the alleged kidnapping

Perth-born MacGill played 44 Tests for Australia, taking 208 wickets at 29.02.

He later moved into hospitality, running Neutral Bay restaurant Aristotle’s, which he said he was forced to shut down.

Investigators have already rounded up four other men for their alleged role in the high-profile case on Sydney’s Lower North Shore and say they are still on the hunt for a seventh mysterious figure.  

Both of the young men now arrested have been charged with participating in a criminal group and kidnapping offences.

They were both remanded in custody and are due to appear at Parramatta Local Court via video link on Tuesday.

While police were pleased to report the breakthrough in the case they are still hunting for another man who goes by the name Sunny or Zac – who is also alleged to have played a role in the kidnapping.

Stuart MacGill was allegedly held at gunpoint at this Bringelly home (pictured) on Sydney's south-western outskirts on April 14

Stuart MacGill was allegedly held at gunpoint at this Bringelly home (pictured) on Sydney’s south-western outskirts on April 14

Following further inquiries, strike force detectives (pictured) executed two search warrants at homes at Blacktown and Rouse Hill in Sydney's west last Friday

Following further inquiries, strike force detectives (pictured) executed two search warrants at homes at Blacktown and Rouse Hill in Sydney’s west last Friday

Both men have been charged with participating in a criminal group and kidnapping offenses. Pictured: One of the men is escorted by police

Both men have been charged with participating in a criminal group and kidnapping offenses. Pictured: One of the men is escorted by police

‘The man is described as being of Middle Eastern appearance, aged between 25 and 35, with a solid build, short dark coloured thinning hair and a brown and red coloured beard,’ police said.

‘The man was seen driving a white Toyota Camry with a rideshare sticker on the rear. Investigations by the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad are continuing.’

Detectives previously arrested Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, the brother of MacGill’s girlfriend Maria O’Meagher, and three other men – aged 27, 29 and 42 – on May 5.

All four were charged over their alleged involvement in the incident and remain before the courts in custody.

Mr Sotiropoulos allegedly tried to supply Sonny with 2kg of cocaine, worth about $660,000, but there was an argument over the payment – which allegedly prompted Mr Sotiropoulos to demand $150,000 in payment from MacGill for introducing them. 

The duo were captured on CCTV at a Bunnings hardware store shortly before the alleged kidnapping. Pictured: One of the men is taken into custody by police

The duo were captured on CCTV at a Bunnings hardware store shortly before the alleged kidnapping. Pictured: One of the men is taken into custody by police

Walls and floors inside the vacant property (pictured) were covered in filth and grime

Walls and floors inside the vacant property (pictured) were covered in filth and grime

‘I initially met him when he came in making inquiries about buying a restaurant,’ MacGill told police in a statement tendered in court.

‘I’ve known Sonny for about three to four years, he’s friends with some of my friends. He would even give me Christmas presents and buy Maria flowers.

‘Sonny was also a drug dealer and had said on occasion, “There’ll never be any problems when I’m around”.’

MacGill said he never had anything to do with Sonny’s drug dealing and could no longer find him.

CCTV footage shows the suspects in a Bunnings hardware store two hours before the alleged kidnapping

CCTV footage shows the suspects in a Bunnings hardware store two hours before the alleged kidnapping

‘I considered Sonny a friend but I didn’t know his surname,’ he said in his police statement.

After his alleged four-hour kidnapping ordeal, MacGill was released and caught a taxi back to the lower north shore and spent five days staying in hotels before going to the police.

‘I was scared for my safety,’ he Channel Nine’s A Current Affair.

‘I was in pain, and also it fell over the weekend so I couldn’t get advice from police or lawyers, and I wasn’t thinking clearly in those first couple of days.’

MacGill, who has two teenage children with ex-wife Rachel Friend, has been in a de-facto relationship with Ms O’Meagher for five years, but the couple does not live together. 

Detectives released a photo based on a police sketch of the seventh man police wish to speak to over the alleged kidnapping. The man is of Middle Eastern appearance, aged 25-35, of solid build, with short dark coloured thinning hair and a brown and red coloured beard

Detectives released a photo based on a police sketch of the seventh man police wish to speak to over the alleged kidnapping. The man is of Middle Eastern appearance, aged 25-35, of solid build, with short dark coloured thinning hair and a brown and red coloured beard

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk