Protection racket suspected in attempted murder of Australian on Zakynthos

The last of three suspects linked to the attempted murder of an Australian businessman on the Ionian island of Zakynthos was taken into custody on Saturday, police reported.

A 42-year-old Bulgarian man and two Greeks, aged 34 and 47 respectively, are believed to have brutally beaten with a bat and shot in the leg a 36-year-old Australian national who runs a nightclub in the popular resort of Laganas.

Investigators believe the three suspects attacked the businessman in July with the intent to kill him when the latter stopped paying them protection money.

According to the police report, the Australian national told investigators that he had been paying in excess of 1,000 euros per week to two of the suspects – the 42-year-old and the 47-year-old – in 2011 and 2012 in order to ensure that his business was not threatened.