NEWS

Nigrita prison under scrutiny after police raid

YIANNIS SOULIOTIS

TAGS: Crime

The alleged collusion between inmates and authorities recently uncovered at a penitentiary in northern Greece has led to the sacking of its directors and the transfer today of prisoners to other institutions.

The situation at Nigrita Prison came to light after a raid by the Hellenic Police (ELAS) last Friday on one of its wings yielded state-of-the-art TVs, refrigerator-freezers, air conditioning devices, barbecues and other items. 

What’s more, some of the cell toilets were tiled with expensive mosaics instead of standard prison tiles.

Kathimerini understands that the raid was part of a wider investigation conducted by the internal affairs division of ELAS.

In the wake of the raid, the director, the chief constable and the deputy warden of the prison were removed from their positions, while five Russian-speaking prisoners will be transferred today, after a decision by the general secretary for crime policy, Sophia Nikolaou, to other penitentiaries.

The events leading up to the raid did much to draw the attention of law enforcement officials. First there was an illegal visit to a Greek prisoner by his wife on the morning of May 10 while the lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus was still in effect.

This was followed on May 18 by a bloody clash between inmates, resulting in nine of them being taken to hospital.

After Friday’s raid of the prison by 83 officers, criminal charges were filed against 30 detainees (13 Greeks and 17 foreign nationals).

According to official sources, some of the 19 cells searched were also occupied by members of the Georgian mafia who are known by the title of “vor v zakone” – meaning “thieves-in-law.” 

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