Corfu prosecutor questions two police sergeants over protection racket

A prosecutor on the northern Ionian island of Corfu was due on Tuesday to question two police sergeants serving on the popular island in connection with the findings of an internal police investigation suggesting the two officers were running a protection racket.

According to the state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency the two sergeants, who were posted at Corfu's central precinct, were regularly extorting money from a cafe owner who had placed illegal gambling machines in his establishment in August last year.

The officers, aged 42 and 45 respectively, allegedly demanded 50 percent of the earnings from the machines in order to ensure that the premises was not raided. In November, however, they allegedly began demanding more and more money from the businessman and are believed to have received a total of 12,000 euros from August last year to this April.

Their increased demands are apparently what prompted the businessman to contact the internal affairs department, which set up a sting operation to catch the two sergeants in the act of receiving money.

A third man, a civilian, has also been arrested for aiding the extortionists.