14ymedio, Havana, 28 September 2023 — The alleged leader of an extortion ring targeting celebrities in Spain, Juan Herrero, could have been sustaining the entire operation from Cuba, the Spanish National Police revealed this week. According to the Spanish media, which had access to the statements, they planned to request assistance from the authorities of the Island to capture the alleged ringleader, known as the “Clairvoyant Monk” for publishing videos of “prophecies” on the Internet. The press also revealed that Herrero has been in Cuba since at least January, and two orders have been issued to search for and capture him. However, during an interview with the TardeAR program broadcast on Tuesday, the alleged criminal stated that he was simply under investigation and was in his “residence” in Bilbao, in the Basque Country.
During the program, the Spanish journalist Malu Zamora, who said she had followed the case of the Clairvoyant Monk for two years, explained that her “sources in Cuba” had managed to locate Herrero in Havana, that he also maintains several businesses “that are doing quite well” on the Island and has “Russian citizenship.”
According to Spanish media, the authorities are aware that the fugitive profits from online divination services from the Island
The journalist noted that, during the investigation of Francis Montesinos, a fashion designer and one of the victims of the blackmail, it was discovered that the phone number through which they tried to extort the money was Cuban.
According to the statements of the Police to the press, the criminal organization recruited minors under the age of 18 whom it sent, through telephone contacts, to have sexual relations with personalities from Valencia, declaring that they were already of legal age. Days later, the young people contacted the celebrity again to ask for large sums of money in exchange for not sharing the recordings in which they had sex.
In the interview presented in TardeAR, Herrero denied all accusations and any relationship with the criminal network. He even alleged that he was a victim himself and explained that in 2022 he had relations with a young man who ended up extorting him in the same way as the rest of the victims. “A day after leaving he called me and told me that he was actually 15 years old and that if I didn’t send 100,000 euros to an account in Morocco he would share a compromising video on social networks,” he said.
The Valencian newspaper Las Provincias, which has also closely followed the story of Herrera, reported that the judge of Liria, a municipality of Valencia, denied a first request from the National Police to request assistance from the Cuban authorities and requested that they present evidence that the fugitive was on the Island.
According to the media, the Police are aware that the fugitive profits from online divination services from Cuba and, among the evidence that incriminates him as the leader of the extortion ring, there is a conversation he had on WhatsApp with the minor who blackmailed Montesinos about the amount of money demanded of him in exchange for not disseminating the intimate video.
Translated by Regina Anavy
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