Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped and beaten after an acquaintance of the cricketing great failed to pay for 2kg of cocaine worth about $600,000.
Daily Mail Australia understands MacGill innocently introduced Marino Sotiropoulos, the brother of his girlfriend Maria O’Meagher, to a mystery man known only as Sonny.
MacGill and Sotiropoulos were once close but the retired leg spin bowler’s association with Sonny is unclear and there is no suggestion he knew he was allegedly a drug dealer.
Sotiropoulos later allegedly helped supply Sonny with 2kg of cocaine provided by another unknown dealer who was never paid for the drugs.
The original supplier then allegedly put increasing pressure on MacGill through Sotiropoulos to somehow help recoup the cash he was owed by Sonny.
Stuart MacGill allegedly introduced Marino Sotiropoulos, the brother of his girlfriend Maria O’Meagher, to a man known as Sonny. Sotiropoulos later allegedly supplied Sonny with 2kg of cocaine provided by another unknown dealer who was never paid for the drugs. McGill is pictured with Ms O’Meagher
Stuart MacGill was taken away from his home in Cremorne (pictured, sitting in the back seat) to give a statement on Wednesday morning after four men – including the brother of his girlfriend – were arrested in relation to his alleged kidnapping and assault
NSW Police allege the retired leg-spinner, 50, was bundled into a car by Richard Schaaf, 29, (left) and his brother Frederick Schaaf, 27, (right) on the streets of Sydney’s lower north shore, before enduring a terrifying hour-long kidnapping ordeal
Sources said MacGill told Sotiropoulos he could not help, but the supplier who had been ripped off kept pushing for Sonny’s whereabouts and his lost money.
Police will allege that pressure culminated in Sotiropoulos confronting MacGill near his home at Cremorne on Sydney’s lower north shore about 8pm on April 14.
During that confrontation brothers Richard and Frederick Schaaf and another unknown man allegedly bundled MacGill into a Honda.
MacGill was driven to a remote property at Bringelly, in greater western Sydney, where police allege he was threatened with a gun.
About an hour later MacGill was allegedly driven to Belmore in the city’s south-west where he was dumped by the side of the road.
In the lead-up to the kidnapping Sotiropoulos had allegedly asked a friend, Son Minh Nguyen, to speak to MacGill, pretending he was linked to the cocaine supplier.
Stuart MacGill is the general manager of the Greek restaurant Aristotle’s at Neutral Bay. His girlfriend, Maria O’Meagher, is the owner. It is not suggested she had any role in the alleged kidnapping
According to a police timeline, MacGill was kidnapped at Cremorne, driven to Bringelly in the city’s west and then released in Belmore after an hour-long ordeal at gunpoint
MacGill insisted to Nguyen and Sotiropoulos that as the alleged drug deal with Sonny had absolutely nothing to do with him he would not be paying any money.
After the alleged kidnapping MacGill hid out in a motel for six days, in fear of his life.
MacGill did not immediately report the alleged kidnapping to police because of those fears, police told reporters. Detectives insist he was purely a victim of crime.
The 50-year-old attended Chatswood police station on April 20 when he reported the alleged kidnapping, assault and attempted extortion.
Strike Force Cain was set up within the Robbery and Serious Crime Squad to investigate and made arrests in coordinated raids on Wednesday morning.
Sotiropoulos, 46, Comanchero associate Richard Schaaf, 29, his brother Frederick, 27 and Nguyen, 42, all faced Sutherland Local Court charged over their alleged roles in the debacle.
There is no suggestion Ms O’Meagher, who runs the popular Aristotle’s restaurant at Neutral Bay, was involved in any way with the alleged drug dealing and kidnapping.
MacGill, who has tried several careers since he retired from sport, has been general the manager of the Greek eatery for more than three years.
One of the four men arrested by police in relation to the alleged kidnapping of former Australian spin bowler Stuart MacGill
Another of the arrested men is bundled out of a police wagon following a series of raids on Wednesday
Sotiropoulos has been charged with kidnapping and causing actual bodily harm, participating in a criminal group and supplying 2kg of cocaine.
The Schaaf brothers were charged with participating in a criminal group and kidnapping with assault causing actual bodily harm.
Nguyen was charged with knowingly directing the activities of a criminal group and being an accessory after the fact to the alleged kidnapping and assault.
All have been refused bail.
Robbery and Serious Crime Squad commander Anthony Holton said on Wednesday the alleged kidnappers’ motive was ‘to obtain as much money as they could’ but none had been paid.
MacGill and Ms O’Meagher behind the bar at the restaurant they have run together for years
Stuart MacGill is seen with ex-wife Rachel Friend back in 2005. The couple had two children together
Acting Detective Superintendent Holton described described MacGill’s ordeal at Bringelly as a ‘horribly traumatic experience’ and confirmed he had a ‘personal relationship’ with one of the accused.
He answered ‘yes’ when asked if a friend – Sotiropoulos – had betrayed MacGill.
‘I can say his kidnapping is not involved in any other backstory that leads to him having a personal debt to other people that he had to pay back,’ Detective Superintendent Holton said.
‘He’s purely being treated as a victim of this kidnapping.’
MacGill, wearing jeans and a hoodie, was led out of his luxury apartment by plain clothes officers and taken to a waiting police car on Wednesday.
He crouched in the back of the unmarked SUV as it drove off towards a nearby police station where he was understood to have given a statement about the April 14 incident.
Shortly before 11am on Wednesday, MacGill was led out of his luxury apartment (pictured) by plain clothes detectives and taken to a waiting police car
Four men have been arrested after Stuart MacGill was allegedly kidnapped at gunpoint
‘We believe the motive was purely financial, to obtain money from him,’ police said in a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
‘They are a criminal gang, it was a targeted kidnapping with the motivate to take money from him with no ransom.’
MacGill, who played 44 Tests between 1998 and 2008, was back in the news two years ago after he was caught behind the wheel while almost three times over the legal limit.
He had an ‘unknown number of glasses of red wine’ when police pulled him over on Military Road, in Sydney’s north shore, late on November 21, 2019.
MacGill had been working at Aristotle’s with his current partner before he was allegedly abducted. He is pictured at the restaurant with former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar (second from the left)
In 2017, he agreed to an apprehended violence order being taken out by police on behalf of his ex-girlfriend Julie Singleton.
Police applied for the order after an incident between MacGill and Ms Singleton – the ex-wife of multi-millionaire John Singleton – in December 2016.
He was served the AVO on Boxing Day that year and later agreed to it in court without admitting fault.
MacGill has two children with ex-wife Rachel Friend. He married the former Neighbours actress in 2000 before separating in 2013.
The Perth product is acknowledged as having the best strike-rate of any modern spin bowler but was unlucky to find himself playing at the same time as cricket legend Shane Warne.
MacGill is pictured at an Australian training session at the Gagga in Brisbane ahead of a Test against Sri Lanka in November 2007
STUART MACGILL: A TIMELINE
1998: MacGill makes Test debut for Australia in Adelaide
2000: MacGill marries former Neighbours actress Rachel Friend
2008: MacGill retires from Test cricket
2013: MacGill separates from his wife, who he has two children with
2016: Police apply for an AVO against MacGill on behalf of his ex-girlfriend Julie Singleton
2019: MacGill is caught driving three times over the legal limit
2021: MacGill is allegedly kidnapped and assaulted
Inside the decrepit shack where cricket star Stuart MacGill was allegedly held at gunpoint and bashed by four men including his girlfriend’s brother
By Kylie Stevens for Daily Mail Australia
Shocking images inside the rundown property on Sydney’s outskirts where former Australian cricketer Stuart MacGill was allegedly held captive at gunpoint and beaten up by three men last month have emerged.
Police allege the retired leg-spinner, 50, was confronted and bundled into a car by three men on Sydney’s lower north shore on April 14 before being driven 60km to a two hectare property in Bringelly in the city’s south-west.
He was allegedly held captive inside the property for an hour and bashed before he was driven 38km to Belmore.
The shocking state inside the property where MacGill allegedly endured his harrowing ordeal was revealed for the first time on Thursday.
Stuart MacGill was allegedly held at gunpoint at this Bringelly home (pictured) on Sydney’s south-western outskirts on April 14
Rooms inside the barren property were covered in filth with grime all over the walls and floor.
The exterior of the home was covered in cobwebs while an outdoor toilet had discarded possessions strewn on the floor.
Neighbours told Seven News the tenant who lived there for eight years moved out on Monday and were shocked to see police there on Wednesday.
‘It was scary, seeing police in overalls with cameras,’ one man said.
Four men have been charged over the alleged kidnapping, including Marino Sotiropoulos, 46, the brother of MacGill’s girlfriend.
MacGill has not been seen since he was picked up from his Cremorne home by police on Wednesday and taken to a nearby station to give more information about his ordeal.
MacGill and his girlfriend Maria O’Meagher have put on a united front in a cryptic message to their restaurant customers just a day after her brother was charged with kidnapping and assaulting the sporting legend.
Walls and floors inside the vacant property (pictured) were covered in filth and grime
‘We look forward to seeing you all soon at Aristotle’s Neutral Bay,’ MacGill and Maria O’Meagher wrote beneath a photograph of the pair together.
The message was posted to the social media accounts of the Greek restaurant Ms O’Meagher owns and MacGill manages on Sydney’s lower north shore.
Ms O’Meagher thanked friends and customers who offered support on social media and has confirmed she is still with MacGill.
‘I was not involved in this situation in any way,’ she told Seven News in a statement.