Robber gang caught, carpet murder solved

Thessaloniki police yesterday announced the arrest of two alleged bank robbers and said that one of them was responsible for the death of a third gang member whose body was found in a rolled-up carpet and tablecloth in a side street of the northern city on October 23. The gang is believed to have stolen 83 million drachmas in eight bank robberies, one of which was in the Athens suburb of Moschato and the other seven in Thessaloniki. Police said that they had arrested Tamaz Vazaidi, 44, of Georgia and Mikhail Koslov, 34, of Uzbekistan, whom they accused of killing 29-year-old Belorussian Danila Zaichev. Koslov claimed that Zaichev had shot himself during a game of Russian Roulette, saying that the gang members would gamble with the proceeds of their robberies in this way. Officers said, however, that they believed the two, who shared an apartment, must have had a falling out and that Koslov shot Zaichev at close range. A coroner has ruled out the possibility that the victim shot himself. Protopappas also defended Papandreou’s exclusive use of English during Thursday’s joint press conference with Cem.

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