Kidnap-murder arrest

Following a gunfight and protracted negotiations in northwestern Athens early yesterday, special police forces arrested the main suspect in last month’s mysterious abduction and apparent execution of a man lured to his death by a friend of his Russian lover. Albanian national Alket Rizaz, 29, finally surrendered to police surrounding the Nea Philadelphia apartment block where he was hiding after firing several shots at officers and threatening to throw two grenades at them. Rizaz denied any involvement in the February 24 kidnapping of Athanassios Koropiotis, 30, who disappeared after receiving a phone call from a woman who arranged a meeting saying she was a friend of his Russian girlfriend. Belarus national Victoria Tarashevich, 24, who was arrested on March 1 in a highway coffee shop near the Vale of Tempe along with Kyriakos Pakatouridis, 32, an ethnic Greek from Uzbekistan, told police Pakatouridis and Rizaz forced her to make the call. She said the two, along with another two men – one of whom has been arrested – drove her to the Maroussi rendezvous, grabbed Koropiotis and proceeded to Varibombi, north of Athens. Rizaz and Pakatouridis took Koropiotis into the woods, and two shots were fired. The two suspects returned alone. The body has not been found. Police believe Rizaz mistook Koropiotis for a man dating a Russian former girlfriend of his. Albanian Elvis Mulisi, 24, was arrested for hiding Rizaz in his flat.