NEWS

Police officer suspected in connection with protection racket on the run

Police handout photo of evidence found during raids on racket members.

TAGS: Crime

One of two policemen who were recently accused by the force’s anti-blackmail unit of being part of a protection racket has gone missing, Kathimerini understands.

The 33-year-old, a member of the DIAS motorcycle-riding squad, appeared before a prosecutor last Monday but has not been seen since. Police had arrested 19 people on July 6 after a two-year investigation into two rival rings.

The gangs allegedly offered protection to 60 gambling clubs and bars in Attica, and would carry out beatings, arson attacks and other offenses in return for payment.

One of the two policeman, a 36-year-old, was arrested on the spot but the 33-year-old was not caught within the deadline and could not be arrested when he visited the prosecutor. The latter is accused of being a member of both gangs and being involved in violent attacks.

Sixteen of the 19 suspects arrested have been remanded in custody.

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