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City's 'Maniac' fights jail term from hideaway.

Byline: JOE THOMAS Crime Reporter @joe_thomas18

A LIVERPOOL gangster, dubbed "The Maniac" is fighting an appeal against his conviction for kidnap and extortion - despite being on the run.

The man was sentenced to three years in jail for his terrifying exploits in a Dutch gangland feud.

But he was absent from that hearing, having handed over PS35,000 to secure his bail, then fleeing the Netherlands.

Police across Europe have now been asked to help track down the fugitive, referred to by criminal associates as "that crazy Englishman".

The man, whose name has not been made public, due to Dutch laws, had threatened to throw a grenade into a family home after being drafted in by a Turkish crime boss looking to recover millions of pounds.

He also plotted to kidnap a businessman's wife so she could be held hostage on a farm.

But he was busted after police tapped phone conversations and then swooped on him, stopping him in a car and finding him with what was effectively a kidnapper's toolkit.

He was sentenced to three years in jail for extortion, plotting to take a hostage and attempted extortion at the Court of Rotterdam.

The ECHO understands he was sentenced in his absence, however, after earlier handing over 40,000 euros - around PS35,000 - so that he could secure his bail ahead of the hearing.

That case was held late last year and he has been on the run since - meaning he has walked away from the cash.

The Dutch authorities believe he has fled the country and a European Arrest Warrant has been issued.

Even though he has been in hiding for more than six months, he has still managed to submit an appeal against his conviction - claiming he is innocent and the real "Maniac" is another Brit. The case he was involved in centred on trouble between a businessman and a Turkish drugs lord.

The drugs boss desperately sought to recover millions of pounds lost when a heroin shipment was intercepted.

He had been hoping to use the profits from that importation to offset a massive bill he owed to a Colombian cartel when a cocaine haul went missing weeks before.

The Turkish gangster blamed - it turned out correctly - the heroin seizure on a businessman whose firms he had been using as cover for the drugs imports, and sought to recoup PS12m from him.

Plotting from jail after being arrested over the heroin shipment, his conversations were secretly monitored. That was when officers began to hear of an English-speaking man referred to in court documents as being "a maniac".

Tapped conversations unveiled plans for "The Maniac" to threaten the businessman and his family.

"The Maniac" was stopped by police after meeting one of the family and making further threats.

In his car, officers found a tracking beacon, tie wraps bound together to make handcuffs, black gloves and a host of mobile phones.

The discovery, along with the tapped conversations, helped prosecutors build their case against "The Maniac" - which featured a plot to kidnap the transport boss' wife and hold her hostage in the cellar of a farm, potentially for months.

The thug, who was confirmed as being from Liverpool in court documents obtained by the ECHO, was sentenced to three years.

The Turkish gangster received 14 years for his role in the heroin and kidnap plot.

The businessman was also prosecuted after an investigation established he was involved in the failed cocaine plot.


The Liverpool gangster known as The Maniac was tried and sentenced to jail in his absence in Rotterdam
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 10, 2019
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