Acid attack man ‘will not be intimidated’

THE owner of a gestoria who had acid thrown on him is recovering at Alicante General Hospital.

Manuel Duran was on his was to work at his gestoria in Alfaz del Pi on August 1 when acid was sprayed on his face and body. He suffered third degree burns on 30 per cent of his body, mostly the face and torso.

Manuel said he is lucky to be alive because he “had a haemorrhage and almost died” after his first operation. “I only survived because I am in good physical shape,” he said. He must now undergo a third surgery to graft healthy skin on the affected areas and will have to say in hospital “a month-and-a-half”.

Manuel suspects that two former business partners with whom he had disagreements over a catering business in Elda he invested in earlier this year are to blame.

Investigations are focusing on these two people to see if any or both of them hired the man who threw acid on the man. Police are searching for the man who threw the acid who is believed to be Romanian.

This is not the first time that Manuel has been subjected to an attack. He started the business with a Swiss and a Frenchman. “When the real estate boom ended we discovered that our Swiss associate was cheating us so we relieved him of his administrator duties through legal methods,” Manuel said.

Shortly after police were called in on a tip and the Frenchman was sent to jail when 175g of cocaine was discovered in the false ceiling of his office. “He was innocent, but charged for drug trafficking and sexually assaulting a girl,” Manuel said. The Frenchman spent four months in prison.

Shortly after Manuel’s association with the Frenchman ended when he discovered that he had “tried to sell the office behind my back for €2.5 million”. When Manuel took over the business, things became physical.

“A year ago three Bulgarians were sent to beat me up,” Manuel said. “I will not be intimidated; this only serves to prove I am in the right.”

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