NEWS

Heroin suspects, also on Lagarde list, to testify

Five of a total 12 people arrested over the biggest drug bust ever made in Greece are due to testify before an Athens prosecutor on Tuesday. They are a 40-year-old businessman identified as E.G., his former wife, her current partner, her 73-year-old mother, as well as a Bulgarian woman who worked as a housekeeper at a property in Filothei, northern Athens, where narcotics officers uncovered more than half a ton of heroin last week.

The family’s 15-year-old son, arrested after police found he had sent four text messages to an accomplice warning of the raid, was released from custody on Monday.

Another five suspects, all Turks with Belgian citizenship, were also arrested during the same operation last week at a warehouse in Koropi, northeast of Athens, which contained another half-ton of heroin.

The final suspect, a 29-year-old Albanian national, turned himself in to authorities on Sunday.

Meanwhile, the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) is investigating all bank accounts and assets in the name of the 40-year-old, his former wife and her relatives. Sources have suggested that SDOE has already found that their names are on the so-called Lagarde list of Greeks with deposits at the Geneva branch of HSBC that is being investigated for tax evasion.

The bust last Tuesday was the result of a joint operation after US authorities tipped off their Greek counterparts to the existence of a large shipment of heroin from Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan destined for Belgium. It is believed that the shipment was first held in Filothei and gradually transported to the Koropi warehouse, where it was packaged and labeled as “rice from Pakistan” before being loaded for shipment to Belgium.

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