The Gibraltarian father, who we cannot name for legal reasons, found himself at the centre of a high-profile criminal investigation, which he claims has led to two kidnappings and grave threats to his family.
Speaking exclusively to the Olive Press, he claims two of his friends, 18 and 16, were snatched in the space of a few days following his arrest and consequent release.
The unnamed man, in his 20s, revealed that the teenagers were tortured in connection to the robbery, which is understood to have ended in the seizure of 1.5m pounds, from a warehouse in New Harbours Industrial Estate.
“One of the kids turned up at my house on Sunday with a broken hand and foot and p***ing blood,” he revealed this week.
“Two guys kidnapped him, stepped on his legs and feet and hands and asked him if he knew where the millions were.”
He claims the men then threw the 16-year-old out of the window of his flat.
“Thank god he lives on the first floor,” he said, adding: “He hobbled to the hospital saying he’d fallen off a bike because he was terrified to tell the truth, but when he came to my house and told me I called the police,” he added.
It was the second alleged kidnapping following the young man’s own arrest for his alleged involvement in the armed robbery in the early evening of June 21.
In dramatic fashion, the 29-year-old was woken up at 1am by armed police, the next morning.
“They arrived out of nowhere with assault rifles,” he said. “At first I didn’t realise who it was so I called the police and told them there were men outside my house with rifles.
“I was s**t scared. They said I had apparently taken £1.5 million.”
Although he admitted he has been in trouble in the past for minor offences, the suspect, who remains on bail, insisted he has changed his ways and has not been in trouble with the police for the past six years.
“I got in trouble as a kid smuggling tobacco but I have changed my life, and now they whack this on me – I have suddenly gone up the ranks in the criminal underground,” said the father-of-one.
“I just want a normal life, and justice for my friends.”
Last night, the police confirmed they were still probing the case and that ‘all lines of investigation are still open’.
They added that they have recovered a ‘substantial’ sum of money and have since arrested and charged a man, Rachid Behdraoui, a 51-year-old Moroccan national. He is accused of the robbery and possession of a firearm.
They did not confirm if they were looking for anyone else, at this stage.
Behdraoui’s application for bail was turned down on Monday, citing the seriousness of the offences and the fact he has no local ties and poses a flight-risk.
He will appear at the Supreme Court on July 28.