Pair thought to be key extortion ring players

Two men arrested in an apartment in Kamatero, western Athens, on Thursday night are believed to be high-ranking members of one of four major extortion rackets broken by police earlier this week.

The two men, aged 38 and 32, were arrested after police located a vehicle registered in the name of the 38-year-old outside a luxury maisonette in Kamatero.

According to sources, officers lay in wait until a pizza delivery employee arrived and then burst into the residence when one of the suspects opened the door. A pistol and a hand grenade were confiscated from the house.

The two men are believed to have been working for the suspected leader of one of the extortion rackets who is currently in jail. The two men allegedly planted bombs outside Athens nightclubs belonging to their boss?s rivals and collected protection money from several businesses.

Police said that a total of 217 people – including seven police officers and a well-known popular singer – had been charged in connection with the alleged activities of the four rackets.

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