NEWS

Police, EYP officials tied to smuggling rings

Officers of the Greek Police’s internal affairs department are investigating the possible involvement of members of the force’s immigration unit and the country’s National Intelligence Service (EYP) in human-smuggling rackets, Kathimerini understands.

The investigation is based on evidence emerging from a probe launched in January 2013 by officers of the force’s anti-organized crime department and the security police, sources said.

The leader of one of the rackets that has been linked to EYP and police officials is believed to be a 51-year-old Syrian known by the names Mustafa and Manolis. Also linked to the ring is a 46-year-old Iraqi who is believed to have been cooperating with an official from the force’s immigration department and an EYP official known as Nikitas. The 46-year-old was the only suspect from a group of 14 people arrested in a case that prompted the January 2013 probe who was not remanded on human-smuggling charges but granted conditional release.

The two Greek officials are alleged to have issued documentation to facilitate smuggling rackets. According to sources, the pair are said to have met with suspected racket members at a Kurdish restaurant in central Athens.

Colleagues of the implicated police officer told Kathimerini that his cell phone was tapped for two years but did not yield any incriminating evidence against him, adding that his meetings were part of his professional duties.