Cooperation between the Hellenic Police and Chinese shopkeepers in downtown Athens last week has led to the arrest of two alleged extortionists who face a variety of charges.
Two Greeks, a mother and her son, pretended to be labor inspectors and repeatedly visited the stores of foreign shopkeepers in the area around Omonia Square, threatening that they would fine and report them for employing uninsured workers if they were not given bribe money.
Kathimerini understands that the two Greeks managed to collect huge sums, taking between 2,000 and 6,000 euros from each shopkeeper, mainly of Chinese origin, brandishing civil servants’ identification from the former Social Security Foundation (IKA) and documents with the state stamp.
However, upon the initiative of the association of Chinese shopkeepers in central Athens, the police was alerted last Thursday and caught the two alleged blackmailers red-handed. Authorities have collected the testimonies of at least 10 shopkeepers, as well as photos and videos.
Chinese shopkeepers have complained about a rise in crime in the center that has a negative impact on business.