Business extortion ring members appear before investigative magistrate

Business extortion ring members appear before investigative magistrate

The 14 public service employees accused of participating in a business extortion ring appeared before an investigative magistrate on Wednesday.

They face seven felony and two misdemeanor charges, including forming a criminal organization, extortion, and bribery.

Six of the suspects requested time to prepare their testimony and will return to the investigative magistrate on Thursday.

The ring allegedly extorted businesses in the center of Athens, mainly hotels and restaurants, offering “immunity” from administrative fines and inspections.

According to the Internal Affairs Directorate investigation, the public employees are alleged to have begun their illegal activities in January 2023.

The ring appeared to have extensive operations and took precautions to avoid detection. The group’s leaders coordinated the members’ actions, determined the amount each business paid, and recorded the illegal payments their victims were forced to make.

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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