Da Silva targeted for extortion by former teammate Zarko

Brazilian defender on brink of joining Austria's Red Bull Salzburg forced to stay in Israel to cooperate with bizarre investigation.

Hapoel Tel Aviv Eran Zehavi, Douglas da Silva311 (photo credit: AP)
Hapoel Tel Aviv Eran Zehavi, Douglas da Silva311
(photo credit: AP)
Former Hapoel Kfar Saba player Liron Zarko and his father were arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of attempting to extort Brazilian defender Douglas da Silva, who until recently played for Hapoel Tel Aviv, and who is about to join Austria’s Red Bull Salzburg.
Zarko and his father allegedly threatened to spread damaging claims in the media about da Silva if their demands for hundreds of thousands of dollars were not met, police said.
Da Silva, who is set to join Salzburg for a transfer fee of 2.6 million euros, is not allowed leave the country after having his passport confiscated on Wednesday to ensure his cooperation with the on-going investigation.
Da Silva and Zarko were teammates at Hapoel Kfar Saba between 2005 and 2008 and, according to police, Zarko threatened to circulate photos of the married da Silva together with other women, as well as other embarrassing claims, should the Brazilian not pay him $400,000.
Da Silva was set to fly out to Salzburg on Thursday, but will now have to remain in the country at least during the coming days, while Zarko will remain in remand at least until Sunday.
“We received the news with surprise,” a statement released by Hapoel Tel Aviv read. “We trust the police to complete the investigation and we will cooperate as much as needed.”