NEWS

In Brief

BOMB HOAX

No explosives found on ferry following anonymous warning call A bomb threat, which necessitated the evacuation of a passenger ferry docked at Piraeus yesterday, was a hoax, port authorities said after a search of the vessel unearthed no explosives. An anonymous call made to a newspaper at 3.30 p.m. claimed a bomb would explode aboard the Daliana at 6.30 p.m. when the vessel was due to be at sea, en route for the islands of Paros, Naxos, Icaria, Fournoi and Samos. Tram protest More than 150 Palaio Faliron residents gathered in the Athens coastal suburb yesterday to reiterate demands for changes to plans for a tramway through the area, which they say will increase traffic problems and damage the environment. Protesters claim preparatory work – requiring the felling of several trees along coastal Poseidonos Avenue – for the tramway is illegal as the environmental study which led to approval being granted for the works stated the trees would not be touched. The 346-million euro tram project is due for completion in April 2004. Procuring arrest A 56-year-old man who allegedly held captive in his home a young Russian woman whom he had forced into prostitution has been charged with procuring, illegal weapon possession, unjustified violence and theft, police said yesterday. Dimitris Gaitanakis allegedly forced the woman, who has not been named, to visit clients in Athens hotels after luring her to Greece on the promise of a job and then taking away her travel documents. The woman managed to escape to the airport last Wednesday but Gaitanakis allegedly caught her and returned her to his home. Corfu fire A 32-year-old laborer was yesterday in hospital with first-degree burns on his hands after a fire broke out in an old warehouse containing highly flammable substances at the old harbor of Corfu. No one else was injured in the blaze, which destroyed the warehouse and damaged an adjacent restaurant. Drug arrests Athens drug squad officers on Saturday arrested two men and one woman in central Attikis Square for alleged drugs trafficking. Officers confiscated 32 grams of heroin and 8 grams of cocaine from Giorgos Koukouras, 39, Venetsianos Barbayiannis, 43, and Maria Dragatsi, 33.