Clues at hideout link Xeros to prison extortion racket

Police scouring a house in Anavyssos, southeastern Attica, which was used as a hideout by November 17 convict Christodoulos Xeros (photo), have found evidence linking the latter and his involvement in a plan to help members of the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire guerrilla group break out from Korydallos Prison to an extortion racket whose leadership is based in the prison.

The key link between the terrorists and the crime racket is thought to be a 54-year-old former member of the police’s special forces unit, Christos Patoucheas, allegedly an accomplice of Xeros. He is also thought to be close to the racket leaders.

Witness testimonies indicate that he secured the weapons for a planned hit on Korydallos and the explosives used in bomb attacks against judges and entrepreneurs ordered by the racket. A source said that phone cards and handwritten notes found at the Anavyssos hideout indicate that Patoucheas, Xeros and an Albanian, aged 37, worked closely together.