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Two arrested as F1 star Schumacher’s family blackmailed

Two men have been arrested for trying to blackmail F1 star Michael Schumacher's family.

Two men have been arrested for trying to blackmail F1 star Michael Schumacher's family. Photo: Getty

The family of stricken formula one legend Michael Schumacher has been the victim of attempted blackmail and two men have been arrested, German prosecutors say.

A spokesman for the public prosecutor’s office in the western city of Wuppertal said the perpetrators had told employees of the family that they had files the Schumachers would not want to be made public.

They demanded a payment in the millions of euros to keep the information secret, otherwise they would publish it on the dark net.

The perpetrators sent some files to the family as proof, the spokesman said on Monday

Using “technical measures”, it was possible to determine that the suspected blackmailers had acted from Wuppertal.

A father and son from Wuppertal, aged 53 and 30, were arrested on June 19 in a supermarket.

“On the same day, eight properties were searched,” prosecutors said.

They included the suspects’ main residences, secondary residences, and the father’s man’s workplace.

The men could face a fine or a maximum jail sentence of five years if tried and convicted, although prosecutors said the “extensive investigations” were ongoing.

Authorities have said both men were on probation in connection with a separate case.

Little is known about the health of seven-time F1 world champion Schumacher more than 10 years after a skiing accident.

The German, now 55, suffered serious head injuries in the incident in the French Alps on December 29, 2013.

After surgery following Schumacher’s accident, the chief anaesthesiologist at the hospital he was taken to, Jean-Francois Payen, said race driver was “fighting for his life” in critical condition, and declaring it was “a very serious situation”.

“We can’t really say when he will recover – we cannot answer this yet,” he said at the time.

Schumacher has not been seen in public since his accident, and his family has vigorously defended his privacy.

German investigators revealed late last week that they were investigating a blackmail case involving a well-known figure, but did not reveal who.

This is not the first case of its kind. In 2017, a 25-year-old man was convicted of trying to blackmail Schumacher’s wife.

-with AAP

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