Police net loan sharks after hefty demands

A father and son were arrested in the suburb of Aghia Paraskevi, northeastern Athens, on suspicion of illegal money lending and blackmail after a man who claims to have borrowed money from them alleged that he was being forced to pay back four times the amount he borrowed. The suspects, who were not named, are alleged to have loaned the businessman from Koropi, east of Athens, 133,000 euros in 2004 with an interest rate of 6 percent per month. The unnamed businessman said that he had paid back 350,000 euros and given the 68-year-old man and his son checks for another 182,000 euros to pay off the loan. However, the businessman said the pair had recently been pressuring him to pay off the debt in cash. He alerted police, who arranged for him to hand over 150,000 euros in marked bills to the suspects. Officers believe the pair illegally lent money to tens of other businessmen.

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