Former Australian cricket star Stuart MacGill reportedly kidnapped, assaulted in extortion plot in Sydney

Publish Date
Thursday, 6 May 2021, 8:41AM
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Australian test cricket great Stuart MacGill did not inform police for a week after he was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint for ransom because he felt "threatened and scared".

A NSW Police press conference about MacGill's ordeal has heard the legendary spin bowler was "quite scared about going to police at all" after allegedly being abducted and beaten.

Police allege MacGill was forced into a vehicle at Cremorne, on Sydney's Lower North Shore on April 14 and taken to a property where he was assaulted and threatened with a firearm.

He was then driven to Belmore in Sydney's southwest and released after an hour.

MacGill did not report the incident until April 20 because he felt threatened.

Police allege the motive was financial, but no money was exchanged.

In a press conference today, Detective Acting Superintendent Anthony Holton was asked if it was random or MacGill knew the man who allegedly confronted him on the street.

"I would be saying it was a personal relationship," he replied.

He was then asked: "He's essentially been betrayed by someone that he knew?"

"Yes," Supt Holton said.

Four men, aged 27, 29, 42 and 46 years old will appear in court charged over the alleged kidnapping plot.

It is alleged one of the men charged - Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, - is the brother of MacGill's recent partner Maria O'Meagher.

The other three charged are brothers Frederick, 27, and Richard Schaaf, 29, and Son Minh Nguyen, 42.

Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives arrested the men about 6am on Wednesday, three weeks after the alleged kidnapping near MacGill's Sydney home.

Police allege it occurred about 8pm on April 14, when MacGill was confronted by the 46-year-old accused near the intersection of Parraween and Winne streets in Cremorne.

A short time later the pair were approached by two other men, allegedly forcing MacGill into a vehicle.

He was then allegedly driven to a property at Bringelly, where the two men, plus another unknown man, allegedly assaulted him and threatened him with a firearm.

About an hour later, police claim MacGill was driven to Belmore and released, according to police.

After MacGill notified police, Robbery and Serious Crime Squad detectives formed Strike Force Cain.

They conducted extensive investigations, with assistance from Raptor Squad and the Public Order and Riot Squad.

Officers are executed search warrants on Wednesday morning at homes at Sutherland, Caringbah, Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville.

MacGill represented Australia in 44 test matches between 1998 and 2008, serving as Shane Warne's understudy for most of his international career.

He claimed 208 test wickets at an average of 29.03, including 12 five-wicket hauls.

Only three leg-spin bowlers have taken more test wickets for Australia – Richie Benaud, Clarrie Grimmett and Warne.

MacGill took 328 Sheffield Shield wickets for New South Wales, placing him equal third on the all-time list behind Geoff Lawson and Greg Matthews.

He announced his retirement from international cricket in 2008.

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission