Police Friday were seeking the hideouts and accomplices of two fugitives – a terrorist suspect and a wanted bank robber – who were arrested together on Thursday in a swoop that authorities described as a major success.
Costas Sakkas, an alleged member of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group, and Marios Seisidis, a bank robber who has been wanted for years by police, were apprehended together following a random inspection by members of the Greek Police’s motorcycle-riding DIAS squad near the town of Sparta, in the Peloponnese.
At around 4 p.m. on Thursday, officers signaled to the two men, who were traveling in a silver Volkswagen Golf, to slow down for an inspection. When the driver accelerated in a bid to get away, a chase ensued, with police eventually cornering the car near a coach station, where the pair got out and ran off.
Officers eventually caught the men a few blocks away near an underground car park. The fugitives were identified from their arrest warrants. The warrant for Sakkas was issued when he disappeared in 2014 after violating the terms of his conditional release from prison. The warrant for Seisidis has been out since 2006.
According to sources, the pair refused to be photographed or fingerprinted and claimed to have been beaten up by police while in custody.
Police found that the car had been stolen in Attica in June but its license plates had been changed to match another car of the same color and model.
A key priority of counterterrorism officers questioning the two suspects, who were on Friday transferred to Athens, is to examine the lists of contacts on their cell phones, which were in their possession when they were arrested.
Police want to gain as much information as possible about the two men’s extended networks and to find properties they are believed to have rented out as hideouts using forged identity cards that were also found in their possession.
In comments to Parliament Friday, Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas described the arrests as “a success of the government and the law enforcement authorities.”
“It gives the message that we are unbending against those who violate the law,” he said.