NEWS

Probe into extortion, drug gang yields new suspects

A police handout photo from October 2015 shows some of the weapons seized during the first part of the investigation into the criminal group.

TAGS: Crime

Judicial authorities in Thessaloniki are investigating a slew of new evidence uncovered by police investigating a large gang involved in extortion and drug trafficking following the arrest in October of 19 suspects and the opening of case files against 34.

The new evidence points to an additional 36 people as being involved in the racket, which is thought to have been run by a 38-year-old convict. It also suggests connections to local soccer clubs PAOK and Xanthi, with an official at the former named as a suspect.

Among other criminal activities, the gang is thought to have carried out several firebomb attacks on cars, including against a sports agent, a unionist and the owner of an Internet cafe that also operated as a gambling den. It is also suspected of running a protection racket and of dealing drugs inside the prison where the 38-year-old suspected leader is being held.

A police officer thought to have been involved in the drug deals was among those arrested in 2015.

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