Sinn Féin Representative Conor Murphy has hit out at the individuals responsible for an extortion attempt on two South Down businessmen.
Mr Murphy said:
"Yesterday people masquerading as republicans demanded £3000 from two South Down businessmen. They were warned not to approach Sinn Féin or the PSNI about this matter and were given an address to drop the money off at. The men were told that if local republicans got involved their business premises would be destroyed and they would end up paying £20,000.
"Thankfully these businessmen did not pay this money and have decided to go public to alert others to this activity. These people are not republicans. They are criminal elements masquerading as republicans.
"If any other businessmen have been approached in this manner they should not hesitate to contact Sinn Féin and should not pay these individuals any money." ENDS