Three policemen were arrested in the center of Athens early yesterday for allegedly robbing and assaulting passers-by whom they stopped on the pretext of checking their identities. Constantinos Taxmadzidis, 24, who is stationed at the Athens airport, and the brothers Fotis and Alexandros Kelepouris, both 26, who serve in Thessaloniki, allegedly stopped immigrant Osman Molar, 32, on the corner of Mayer and Favierou streets, near Kaningos Square, at 9 p.m. on Monday. Claiming to be carrying out a routine identity check, the three, who were off-duty and in plainclothes, allegedly stole 120 euros from him. Twenty minutes after midnight, on the corner of Stadiou and Stavrou streets, two of the officers allegedly assaulted two pedestrians with their police batons, while Alexandros Kelepouris fired three shots into the air with his service revolver. Officers have the right to ask anybody for their police identity cards, which all Greeks are obliged to carry, and may take people lacking ID to a precinct to have their identity verified.