Police arrest 9 extortion ring members in synchronized raids

Nine people were arrested on Wednesday during synchronized police raids in Athens, Patra, Xylokastro and Volos as part of an operation to smash an extortion ring, authorities said.

According to officers, the nine suspects formed two gangs that have alleged links to hardened criminal and convict Panayiotis Vlastos.

One of those arrested is an officer with the traffic police and another is a man thought to be involved in the planting of a bomb in the car of magistrate Paraskevi Kalaitzi in November 2012.