Police in search of officers who are extorting migrants

There are a “significant” number of police officers in central and western Athens who are blackmailing immigrants, a member of the force’s internal affairs department told Sunday’s Kathimerini.

The officer, who preferred to remain anonymous, said the policemen in question usually worked in groups of up to three and used migrants as middlemen in order to evade suspicion. He added that the internal affairs department is making a priority of tackling such cases.

Several policemen have been arrested in recent weeks for allegedly extorting money from migrants, usually business owners. These arrests included the 51-year-old chief of the precinct in Rendi, western Athens, who allegedly extorted 2,000 euros from a Pakistani man from whom he had seized 4,000 euros in cash and 89 prepaid phone cards. The officer denies the charges.