Halandri blast linked to bank probe

Police officers looking into an explosion at an apartment block in the northeastern Athens suburb of Halandri on Friday have redirected their investigation after discovering that one of the people living in the building was a Bank of Greece employee responsible for compiling the report that led to alleged embezzlement at Proton Bank being probed.

Four cars were damaged but nobody was injured in the blast. The explosive device, which consisted of dynamite and a slow-burning fuse, was placed at the entrance to the apartment block. Sources said that police now believe that it was intended as a warning to the bank official, who is a member of a credit committee whose report led to prosecutor Yiannis Dragatsis launching his own probe.

Last week, a court ordered the freezing of all assets belonging to the main shareholder in Proton Bank, Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, and another six executives who have been implicated in allegedly questionable loans of some 700 million euros made by the lender to Lavrentiadis?s group of firms.