Police say they knew Velvento robbers had taken hostage

Police were aware that the robbers who held up two banks in Velvento, northern Greece, last month had taken a hostage as they tried to escape, sources told Kathimerini on Wednesday.

The dentist, who was forced from his SUV at gunpoint, had been speaking on his cell phone to a friend when he was threatened. His friend called the police to inform them about the kidnapping. The victim was dragged into a blue van with three of the four suspects, who were stopped in Kozani.

Up to four more robbers made off in the dentist’s car, which has not been found. Police said the dentist was also arrested initially but released at the precinct.

Sources close to the dentist denied claims that he was assaulted by officers upon arrest.

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