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Paros bank heist suspect to face judge on Wednesday

A 29-year-old man arrested in connection with a fatal robbery on Paros earlier this month is due to face a magistrate on Wednesday, as police investigate his suspected links to the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire and the possibility that the island raid, as well as others being planned, had the aim of raising funds for terrorist activity.

Tasos Theofilou was arrested on Saturday outside Kerameikos metro station in Athens after police matched his DNA to that from a cap that was found on August 10 at the scene of the Paros robbery, where taxi driver Dimitris Michas was shot dead trying to stop the armed gang.

Police spokesman Christos Manouras said that Theofilou had first come to the forces attention in November 2010, shortly before they arrested suspected members of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire in Agrinio, central Greece. Theofilou was not among those arrested. The group carried out a series of bloodless bomb attacks in 2009 and 2010.

Manouras said that the suspect graduated from the Theology Department of Aristotle University in his native Thessaloniki but had spent most of his time in Athens since 2010. Police suspect the robbers left Paros by boat the day after the raid on the branch of Alpha Bank and that Theofilou traveled to Lamia, central Greece, to prepare for another bank robbery there. Manouras said officers found a video of the bank and surrounding streets at an apartment in Lamia that had been rented by Theofilou. They said that the images had been shot by placing the camera in a special holder on a bicycle.

Police are not ruling out the possibility that Theofilou took part in other robberies and have begun studying CCTV footage from previous raids. They also took the unusual step of releasing footage from the Paros banks security cameras in the hope of receiving help from the public in identifying the two other suspects involved in the holdup. Officers also revealed that Theofilou had seven keys in his possession when he was caught. Police believe that one of these keys is to the hideout where the guns and money from the Paros robbery has been hidden.

ekathimerini.com , Monday August 20, 2012 (21:23)  
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