EX­TOR­TION

Palm Beach Daily News - - TODAY -

Gencoglanoglu brought the wo­man into the house where Ekdi — wear­ing a black mask and black gloves — was wait­ing, po­lice said. The wo­man told po­lice the two men beat and shocked her with a Taser in­side the house, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

The two men then or­dered the wo­man to hold a hand­gun that they told her had been used to kill two peo­ple ear­lier that week, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit, and now the wo­man’s fin­ger­prints were on it. If she didn’t do what they said, they said, they would go to the po­lice and frame her for the murders, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Gencoglanoglu and Ekdi then drove the wo­man to Sabadell United Bank in Palm Beach, where Gencoglanoglu walked in­side with her, po­lice said. Gencoglanoglu told the wo­man to show the teller his cell­phone, which listed an ac­count num­ber and rout­ing num­ber for an off­shore ac­count, and to trans­fer $2.5 mil­lion into that ac­count, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. While the wo­man spoke to the teller, Gencoglanoglu sat in the wait­ing area, po­lice said.

At the teller’s win­dow, the wo­man told a bank em­ployee that she was be­ing kid­napped and the two men “were go­ing to kill her and her fam­ily,” po­lice said, and asked the em­ployee to hide her. The em­ployee took the wo­man to a locked con­fer­ence room, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit, and Gencoglanoglu “ex­ited the bank in panic, know­ing the po­lice would shortly come.”

Po­lice ar­rived at the bank and saw the two men’s white Ford Ex­plorer speed away on South County Road, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Po­lice fol­lowed the car, which pulled over to the side of the road and stopped, where the two men sur­ren­dered, po­lice said.

Gencoglanoglu later told po­lice that the gun they or­dered the wo­man to hold to frame her for mur­der was just a “scare tac­tic,” ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Gencoglanoglu also said he and Ekdi had dis­cussed the kid­nap­ping plan for about two to three weeks and planned to split the $2.5 mil­lion, po­lice said.

Ekdi told po­lice that Gencoglanoglu had con­tacted him three days ear­lier about a “busi­ness propo­si­tion” with Gencoglanoglu’s girl­friend and to bring his gun, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. Ekdi said he did not know why Gencoglanoglu told him to wear a mask and gloves but “de­cided to go along with” it, po­lice said. Ekdi also said that Gencoglanoglu told him not to speak in his na­tive lan­guage of Turk­ish, po­lice said, but to try and sound Rus­sian.

When po­lice asked Ekdi why he used a Taser on the wo­man, Ekdi said “it was a joke,” ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit.

Ekdi was ar­rested on felony counts of at­tempted rob­bery with a firearm, kid­nap­ping, ag­gra­vated bat­tery, ex­tor­tion and ag­gra­vated as­sault with a deadly weapon.

Gencoglanoglu was ar­rested on felony charges of kid­nap­ping, at­tempted rob­bery with a firearm, ag­gra­vated bat­tery, ex­tor­tion, ag­gra­vated as­sault with a deadly weapon with­out in­tent to kill and un­law­ful use of a two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion de­vice.

Both men are be­ing held on $150,000 bond.

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