DNA ties three of four Velvento robbers to terror group

Police forensic experts have linked three of the four robbers who held up two banks in Velvento, northern Greece, last month to a series of robberies, attacks and apartments connected to the urban guerrilla group Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire, Kathimerini understands.

Police say they can now link Yiannis Michailidis, 24, directly to an armed attack on members of the force’s immediate response unit in Pefki, northern Athens, in May 2011, after reportedly finding his fingerprints on a handgun that was discovered at the scene of the shooting. Officers arrested Theofilos Mavropoulos, another suspected member of the guerrilla group, at the scene after he was injured in the shootout.

Michailidis’s DNA was also found in apartments in the Athens neighborhoods of Kolonos and Kallithea that have been linked to the guerrilla group, police said.

Police also linked 21-year-old Dimitris Politis to an armed raid on a bank near Florina, northern Greece, last November after his DNA was found on a hat left in the getaway car used after that raid. Politis’s DNA was also found in an apartment in Tavros that was being rented by four men from Thessaloniki who were arrested in January 2011 on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack.

Meanwhile the youngest of the four Kozani robbery suspects, 20-year-old Nikos Romanos, has been linked to a bomb attack on a bus depot in Aghios Dimitrios, southeastern Athens, in June 2009, when the suspect was just 16.

Romanos’s DNA was found on the remnants of the homemade explosive device used in that attack which led to the arrest of 20 suspects including Panagiotis Argyrou, who is currently on trial for membership of Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire.

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