Student admits to blackmailing Maltese businessman after affair

The 23-year-old woman travelled to Malta and threatened to show compromising videos and photos to the man's wife unless he gave her a €60,000 car

He woman claimed to be pregnant by the man and sent him a picture of her pregnant sister's ultrasound
He woman claimed to be pregnant by the man and sent him a picture of her pregnant sister's ultrasound

A court has heard how a married Maltese businessman ended up being blackmailed out of some €20,000 by a German student whom he had an affair with.

Essoutouti Asia, 23, was arraigned under arrest before magistrate Gabriella Vella this afternoon, accused of extortion, harassment, misuse of electronic communications equipment and possession of pepper spray.

The businessman is understood to have had a fling in Germany with the accused, who got him drunk and took his credit card, forcing him to pay her €15,000 to let him leave without telling his wife.

Asia was reported to the Maltese police and arrested at Hugo’s Hotel in Paceville, after coming to Malta and demanding a €60,000 car from the victim, threatening to show compromising videos and photos to the man’s wife. But by that time she had already successfully extorted more money from the businessman after claiming to be pregnant by him and sending a picture of her pregnant sister’s ultrasound, claiming it was of her.

During her police interrogation, she had admitted that the baby was not hers. 

The victim who, unusually, was not named in court or in the charges, seemed very eager to hide his identity with his lawyer Joe Giglio convincing the court to order the destruction of a mobile phone containing the compromising material as well as videos and messages.

Inspector Taliana told magistrate Gabriella Vella that the accused had cooperated with the police. A suspended sentence would suffice as the crime in Malta was not completed. The extortion had taken place abroad, Giglio explained.

Legal aid lawyer Joseph Ellis told the court that the accused had shown contrition and was truly sorry. She had a clean criminal record. “A suspended sentence would be a sword of Damocles over her so she would not repeat the reprehensible acts,” he said.

The court, having considered the charges and admission, clean conduct and early guilty plea, found the woman guilty and sentenced her to 18 months in prison, suspended for four years. It also ordered the confiscation of the woman’s phone and its destruction.

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