NEWS

Police drug racket suspects allege frame-up

Two police officers implicated in a massive drug-dealing racket busted by authorities recently have suggested they were set up, noting that their involvement with drug dealers had been part of attempts to break existing rackets, not to support their operation.

In testimony to an investigating magistrate in Thessaloniki over the weekend, the head of the police’s drug squad in Volos, central Greece, claimed that his exchanges with the two Albanian nationals believed to be the ring’s leaders had been aimed exclusively at gaining insights into the gang’s activities. The officer is also said to have questioned the authenticity of taped conversations that investigators say implicate him in the racket’s operations, suggesting that they were doctored. According to the officer’s lawyer, a law suit will be brought against the policeman who recorded the conversations.

Meanwhile a policeman from Thessaloniki’s immigration department reportedly told the magistrate that his superiors had been aware of his conversations with the Albanian suspects.

Of the 35 suspected ring members, 14 have been remanded in custody, 12 given conditional release, while nine, including the two officers, faced a magistrate over the weekend.

The police suspects are alleged to have secured favorable treatment for drug dealers, reducing jail terms for those in jail and offering protection to those on the outside.

Online