NEWS

In Brief

INFLUENZA

Common flu here will peak in a month before fading, doctors say State hospitals were yesterday on standby to diagnose and treat flu sufferers after doctors confirmed that «common flu» was circulating in Greece and that cases would peak in about a month before petering out. From a group of 33 children tested at Athens’s Aglaia Kyriakou Children’s Hospital on Wednesday, 15 were confirmed to be suffering from flu – while one child was said to be infected with «Type A» flu, which includes the deadly strain of Fujian flu. MILOS TANKER No risk of oil spill, ministry says, booms to be set up around vessel There is no risk of an oil spill from an empty Cambodian-flagged tanker that ran aground off Milos on Wednesday, a Merchant Marine Ministry official said yesterday. Special protective «booms» would be put in place around the Afrika to stop fuel from polluting the sea, he said. Six of the tanker’s 13 crew members were airlifted to Milos on Wednesday after the ship was buffeted in gale force winds off the coast of Hydra, and the remaining seven crew members were evacuated yesterday after a crack opened in the hull. HASH HAUL Police seize 710 kilos from truck Two Albanians, aged 31 and 21, and a 52-year-old Bulgarian have been arrested and another Albanian is being sought in connection with the seizure on Wednesday of 710 kilograms of marijuana from a truck in Maroussi, police said yesterday. Officers had been following the truck since Monday, after spotting it on the Athens-Thessaloniki national road. They stopped the vehicle in the Paradeisos area of Maroussi where they discovered the drugs concealed in a specially designed compartment. Police are seeking suspected ring leader, 28-year-old Gikas Alkis. Chtenas caught A 46-year-old Kavala businessman, who last week escaped custody in the northern town where he was being held pending trial for two bank robberies, was yesterday arrested in a Thessaloniki cafe. Andreas Chtenas, who last Thursday escaped from a Kavala jail through a steel grate in the toilets, did not resist arrest, police said. He is charged with having masterminded two simultaneous bank heists in Eleftheroupolis in October 2002. Illegal mining? Police in Ioannina have arrested three people and are seeking another three in connection with Tuesday’s discovery in a local quarry of a truck loaded with 1.5 tons of explosive grade ammonium nitrate and 200 liters of petrol. Police believe the substances were being used for illegal mining. ‘Money laundry’ A Nigerian national has been indicted for allegedly swindling a Thessaloniki tile salesman into buying a bottle of water for 100,000 euros, the Athens News Agency reported yesterday. The victim was allegedly told the «special» water would wash the stamp «Bank of Zaire» off 1.1 million dollars worth of 100-dollar bills, turning them into real dollars. In May, Constantinos Taousakis agreed to buy the bottle from Onok Nuoko Banabas, who wanted to buy 1.1 million euros worth of tiles from him. Shooting arrests Two men believed to be behind the shooting attack on a nightclub owner in Ilioupolis on Tuesday have been arrested, police said yesterday. Giorgos Tromboukis sustained minor injuries as he was shot outside his home. Giorgos Autias, 33, and Giorgos Mizithras, 31 have been arrested and Giorgos Moshouris is being sought. The three allegedly carried out the shooting on behalf of Tromboukis’s business partner, 37-year-old Dimitris Mouselinos, over financial differences, police said. ND fundraising Opposition New Democracy leader Costas Karamanlis yesterday announced the launch of the party’s fundraising campaign ahead of elections under the slogan: «With one euro, you boost transparency,» reassuring prospective voters that ND’s campaign would be conducted «with no resort to compromises, interests or shady deals.» IKA raid Two unidentified robbers yesterday netted 100,000 euros in an armed raid on a branch of the Social Security Foundation (IKA) in the town of Megara, western Attica. The masked men fled on foot.