Korydallos convict believed to be behind recent blasts

Authorities say they have evidence suggesting that convicted criminal Panayiotis Vlastos is behind two bomb attacks on targets related to Yiannis Sbokos, a former Defense Ministry general secretary and a close aide of ex-minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, jailed for money laundering in October. All three men are currently in Korydallos Prison.

According to police and Justice Ministry sources, Vlastos has been blackmailing the ex-ministry official to pay him some 10 million euros from the money Sbokos is accused of receiving in kickbacks.

An explosive device went off outside the home of Sbokos in Kiffisia, north of Athens, in April. In May, another blast wrecked a restaurant in Nea Erythrea, right below the apartment of a close relative of his.

Vlastos is said to have denied the allegations, denouncing them as a scheme by Sbokos to improve his incarceration conditions by being granted a transfer to the prison’s psychiatric ward.