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Football agent jailed over Geneva banker's ransom

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Football agent jailed over Geneva banker's ransom
UBS branch in Geneva where "extortion" occurred. Photo: The Local
11:13 CET+01:00
A football players' agent is in jail and three other people have been arrested for extorting 1.2 million francs ($1.3 million) from a UBS bank employee in Geneva in September, a local newspaper says.

The employee of the bank’s branch at the Cornavin train station was forced to pay a ransom, initially reported by news media as one million francs, to free his family, who were held hostage on September 24th.

The Tribune de Genève reported on Friday that Geneva justice authorities had confirmed the arrests of four people in connection with the case, while a fifth person is being sought.

One of those arrested is a football players’ agent being detained in the Champ-Dollon prison, the Tribune said.

The Swiss man was arrested at the Geneva airport as he was preparing to fly to Dubai to conclude a contract for hookahs (water pipes), the newspaper said, citing a source from the justice department.

The agent is accused of making available his garage to store a scooter used by two people who took the ransom cash from the bank employee, the Tribune de Genève reported.

He reportedly denies the allegation.

The agent, reputedly involved in the transfer of a celebrated forward from a country outside Switzerland, is also alleged to have reserved a jet from a Geneva company to allow the crooks to fly to Morocco following the holdup, the Tribune said.

He maintains that he knew nothing about the activities of the other suspects, although his girlfriend was aboard the jet.

She was arrested upon her return to Geneva on October 31st and provisionally released four days later, her lawyer told the Tribune.

Another suspect is a currency exchange agent in Geneva’s Pâquis neighbourhood who allegedly received 100,000 francs from the football players’ agent.

Arrested on October 1st and released a dozen days later, he is suspected of money laundering but denies the allegations, according to his lawyer, the Tribune said.

Another person is also in prison, while the main suspect remains at large.

Le Matin Dimanche newspaper earlier reported that he is a 24-year-old man previously sentenced to 15 months in jail for the holdup of the Casino du Lac in the municipality of Meyrin.

Last May he was arrested with plans of the UBS bank branch at Cornavin in his possession.

He was released after being detained for three months.

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