Images of six men who caused £1,000 worth of damage to a Chinese karaoke booth after demanding ‘protection money’ in a failed blackmail plot have been released by police.
On Sunday May 19 the gang entered the booth at the Han Dynasty restaurant on Whitworth Street and used the karaoke room for several hours.
They then attempted to extort the restaurant by demanding protection money from the staff.
When their offer was rebuffed by the manager, the men destroyed the booth, smashing the TV screens before leaving.
Detective Constable Adam Cronshaw said: “Protection rackets are a form of blackmail and put victims at the mercy of criminal gangs who bully them into handing over money under the false pretence of ‘protecting’ them.
“Nothing could be further from the truth – no such protection is offered, only the threat of violence if victims do not comply.
‘PETULANT’: Men begin to destroy karaoke booth
“In this instance, when the offenders were rebuffed they responded with petulant violence and trashed the karaoke room, leaving the owners of the restaurant seriously out of pocket and not to mention fearful they themselves may be targeted.”
Police have now released CCTV stills of the offenders and are appealing to anyone with information to come forward and it is believed the offenders are from the Fujian Province of China.
DC Cronshaw said: “These sorts of protection rackets will not be tolerated by Greater Manchester Police and if we identify anyone involved in this sort of cowardly criminality we will take robust action.
“I would therefore ask people to look carefully at the CCTV stills we have issued and if you think you recognise the offenders please come forward.
“We need the names and addresses of these people so we can send out a powerful message that we will bring to justice anyone involved in these protection rackets.”
Anyone with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.