Published Saturday, 18 January 2014
The pair were arrested on Thursday. (© UTV)
Appearing in the dock of Ballymena Magistrates' Court on Saturday was William Ian Robinson, 36, and David Andrew Kealey, 33, who spoke to confirm their names and that they understood the charges against them.
Both Robinson, from Beechwood Drive, Balnamore in Ballymoney and Kealey, from Burnside Park in Coleraine, are accused of blackmailing £6,000 from a businessman on dates between 16 December 2013 and Friday, 17 January.
The pair are also accused of intimidating the man from his home on the same dates.
The charges arise after a proactive investigation carried out by the Serious Organised Crime Branch when officers raided a number of properties in Co Antrim, arresting three people and seizing a car.
A detective constable told the court he believed he could connect Robinson and Kealey to the charges.
Solicitors Conor Heaney and Garett Greene did not lodge bail applications for the men so District Judge Dan Magill remanded the pair into custody to appear again via videolink on 10 February.
A 35-year-old woman, who was arrested during the operation, was released on police bail pending further enquiries.
© UTV News