Plot thickens in Stuart MacGill kidnapping

 

Police have emphatically declared Stuart MacGill was "purely a victim" of kidnapping and did not have "any personal debt" to the four men who allegedly abducted him at gunpoint.

The Australian Test cricket great did not inform police for a week about the alleged April 14 incident 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 for ransom.

What police will allege happened in the kidnapping

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 on Wednesday, 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.

Stuart MacGill
Stuart MacGill

 

Supt Holton said police believed it was a targeted kidnapping where the motive was to "obtain as much money as they could".

"The 50-year-old man is purely a victim of kidnapping. His kidnapping is not involved in any backstory that leads to him having and personal debt to the people …

"To be dragged from the street, forced into a car, taken to a remote area (and) assaulted and threatened with a firearm … I know it was only an hour he was held, but it would have been a horribly frightful hour to endure."

Who are the men police charged?

Four men, aged 27, 29, 42 and 46 years old have been charged over the alleged kidnapping plot.

It has been reported one of the men charged - 46-year-old Marino Sotiropoulos - is the brother of MacGill's recent partner Maria O'Meagher.

O'Meagher owns the Neutral Bay restaurant Aristotle's where MacGill has worked as manager since 2018.

Stuart MacGill and Maria O'Meagher. Picture: Instagram
Stuart MacGill and Maria O'Meagher. Picture: Instagram

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

The Daily Telegraph reports Richard Schaaf is an associate of the Comanchero bikie gang.

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

Sotiropoulos, a builder from ­Kyeemagh, is charged with kid­napping and assault causing actual bodily harm, participating in a criminal group and supplying 2kg of cocaine between April 1 and May 4.

Nguyen was charged with knowingly directing a criminal group's acts between April 1 and May 5 and participating as an accessory for the alleged kidnapping and assault of MacGill.

Frederick Schaaf and Richard Schaaf were charged with participating in a criminal group contributing criminal activity and take/detain in company with intent to get advantage occasion actual bodily harm.

Four men were arrested on Wednesday in relation to the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill. Picture: NSW Police
Four men were arrested on Wednesday in relation to the alleged kidnapping of Stuart MacGill. Picture: NSW 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 executed search warrants on Wednesday morning at homes at Sutherland, Caringbah, Brighton Le-Sands, Banksia and Marrickville.

Who is Stuart MacGill?

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.

He married former Neighbours star Rachel Friend in 2000. They have two children together - Penny and Alex - but were divorced in 2013.

Stuart MacGill and Rachel Friend. Picture: Supplied
Stuart MacGill and Rachel Friend. Picture: Supplied

He sued Cricket Australia for $2.6 million in 2015, claiming the organisation failed to pay him injury payments over a two-year period from May 2008.

The dispute ended two years later with a confidential out-of-court settlement - details are hidden behind nondisclosure clauses.

In December 2019, MacGill was hit with a drink driving conviction after being caught driving three times over the limit. He was banned from driving for four months and fined $950.

 

Originally published as Plot thickens in Stuart MacGill kidnapping

Maria O'Meagher. Picture Facebook
Maria O'Meagher. Picture Facebook
Frederick Schaaf.
Frederick Schaaf.
Police arrest one of the men on Wednesday. Picture: NSW Police
Police arrest one of the men on Wednesday. Picture: NSW Police


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