A young man has been warned of a credible threat to his life after an alleged kidnapping in which he was brought across two counties over a substantial drugs debt.
A garda investigation is under way into the incident, in which the man was driven from Wexford to Dublin as part of an intimidation campaign.
Detectives believe the incident is linked to a €15,000 drugs debt and is part of an increase in debt collection related violence across the country in recent weeks.
A Crumlin thug linked to a crime family from the area has also been quizzed as part of the investigation.
The ordeal began last Thursday when the victim, aged in his 20s, was assaulted outside his Gorey home before being driven to the Crumlin area.
A bystander witnessed the initial incident and notified gardai who launched an investigation.
Later that day, the victim made a number of phone calls to his family asking for the drugs debt to be paid.
"Phone calls were made to his girlfriend and family by him and they were asked if they could raise the funds," a senior source said.
"Gardai are keeping an open mind into all of the circumstances surrounding this incident."
It is understood that no money was handed over but that later that evening, the young man made his own way home to Gorey.
A chief suspect has since been identified and arrested in relation to the incident.
He was quizzed by gardai based in Gorey before being released without charge, and a file will now be prepared for the DPP.
The man, who is aged in his mid-20s and from the Crumlin area, comes from a crime family in the area whose father is suspected of involvement in the drug trade, while his brother is an armed robber.
Detectives have also reviewed CCTV from the area as part of their investigation which shows the victim and the suspect together.
The victim, who is originally from Dublin but now living in Wexford, has also been informed that there is a credible threat to his life.
Detectives have issued the young man with a Garda Information Message - also known as a GIM form - and advised him of security precautions.
Gardai are trying to establish if there have been other instances involving this male where he has been threatened to pay up, or if this was the first step.
"No money was handed over and this may have been intimidation more than anything else to pay up," a source said.
"There has been an increase of drug debt collections across the country, with beatings being dished out to those who can't pay. It's a result of the market drying up due to Covid-19 and dealers need whatever they're owed."