Two brothers from Avilés, in Asturias, were arrested in Malaga last week and charged with pretending to belong to the Basque terrorist group ETA in order to extort money from local businessmen. The Guardia Civil set a trap to catch the brothers after receiving a report from the last businessman contacted that he had been called by a man claiming to belong to ETA who threatened to kill his son if he did not pay a “revolutionary tax”. That is standard ETA practice – but only in the Basque provinces in the north. The Guardia mounted the “Norte” (North) investigation, sending an agent posing as the businessman’s son to a meeting in Malaga last Thursday, when the sum of €5,000 was to change hands. All the alleged ETA terrorists got was handcuffs snapped on their wrists and the bleak prospect of several years in jail. A Guardia spokesman said at least ten businessmen are known to have been approached – five in Nerja, four in Torrox and one in Mijas – and were asked for sums ranging from €1,800 to €6,000. Only one had actually paid up.


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