NEWS

Protection racket suspected to have been run behind bars

A racket of extortionists busted by police in Athens this week is believed to have been taking orders from the two suspected leaders of a massive crime syndicate, Panagiotis Vlastos and Yiannis Skaftouros, who are both in jail.

The racket is said to have operated chiefly in Haidari, western Athens, selling protection to nightclubs. Police sources point to a taped conversation between two suspected members of the racket ? idenitifed as Vangelis Z. and Giorgos B. ? with Skaftouros during which the three men allegedly discussed a violent brawl at a nightclub in which relatives of the latter were injured. Skaftouros is in prison in Domokos, central Greece, while Vlastos is jailed in Trikala.

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