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Royal blackmail plot uncovered

Published: 9:47PM Sunday October 28, 2007 Source: AAP

A member of the British royal family has been targeted in an alleged "sex and drugs" blackmail plot.
  
The royal, who cannot be named after a judge issued a gagging order, called police after being approached by two alleged blackmailers in August, British newspapers reported.
  
The men allegedly demanded STG50,000 ($NZ130,000) not to make public a video, which they suggested showed the royal engaged in a sex act.
  
During phone calls to the royal's office, the suspected blackmailers also allegedly claimed to have evidence suggesting that the royal had supplied an aide with an envelope containing cocaine, and that they had a video of the aide snorting the drug.
  
After an undercover operation, two men were arrested at a London hotel on September 11.
  
"Two men, a 30-year old man and a 40-year-old man, appeared at City of Westminster magistrates' court on September 13, each charged with one count of blackmail," Scotland Yard said in a statement.
  
The men were remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey on December 20.
  
The case is believed to be the first time in more than 100 years that a member of the royal family has been targeted in an alleged blackmail attempt.
  
In 1891, the future Edward VII discussed with his solicitor paying off two prostitutes he had visited in return for letters he had written to them.