Culture Ministry employees involved in business extortion ring

Culture Ministry employees involved in business extortion ring

Authorities revealed on Tuesday that employees of Greece’s Culture Ministry are suspected of involvement in an extortion ring that blackmailed Athens business owners.

State broadcaster ERT reported that public officials and employees in the Culture Ministry’s Modern Monuments Department were allegedly participating in the ring.

Two members of the opposition party PASOK, along with certain police officers and local government employees, were also implicated and suspended from their duties.

The extortion ring mainly targeted restaurants and hotels in Athens, offering protection to avoid administrative fines. The organization allegedly conducted targeted inspections and then blackmailed businesses to prevent future inspections or fines.

A total of 14 people, including nine public officials, have been arrested in connection with the case. Authorities estimate the ring earned 700,000 euros annually from their illegal activities. Among those arrested is a 43-year-old woman known as Nancy, who is alleged to be the leader of the operation.

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