Monastery treasure hunters thwarted

Police on Monday were questioning three out of seven would-be robbers who on Sunday broke into a monastery in Mavromati, in Viotia prefecture, and tied up four monks and the mother of one of the monks in a bid to search for treasure with a mechanical digger.

The robbers burst into the Aghios Georgios Monastery on Sunday afternoon, brandishing guns and rounding up the monks. According to sources, they told the monks they were not interested in the religious icons inside the monastery but wanted to dig for treasure on the grounds.

They were thwarted when a fifth monk, who had avoided capture, telephoned police, who rushed to the scene before they could get the digger going.

The suspects fled but police caught up with two of them, aged 52 and 28, later on Sunday and a third, a 37-year-old man to whom the mechanical digger reportedly belongs, Monday.