NEWS

No gold, only arrests for tunnelers

Four men who dug a large tunnel in Sykies, a suburb of Thessaloniki, in a bid to locate an underground cache of gold sovereigns have been charged with illegal excavation and electricity theft, according to police who said the alleged perpetrators had tapped into a nearby power pylon to illuminate their nighttime digging sessions.

The suspects, aged between 47 and 58, were caught in the middle of the night by officers of the motorcycle-riding unit DIAS next to a stream where the mouth of their makeshift tunnel was located, police said. Officers confiscated various tools including drills and spades as well as a 50-meter length of cable which had been connected to a nearby electricity pylon so the gold hunters would not have to work in the dark. Police also seized a homemade device believed to have been used by the perpetrators to pump out underground water reserves during their excavations.

It appears that the men had been given a tip-off regarding the presence of a chest of gold sovereigns near the stream.