NEWS

Explosives in Menidi house

Police in northwestern Athens have found an anti-tank missile and nearly three kilos of explosives hidden in the roof of a house inhabited by three families of ethnic Greeks from the former Soviet Union, authorities said yesterday. Investigators ruled out a terrorist connection, and were probing a possible link with organized crime gangs. Three men – all immigrants from Kazakhstan – were arrested for caching the explosives in their two-story Menidi house, while police were seeking a fourth suspect, also an ethnic Greek from Kazakhstan. Officers said the explosives – a shoulder-launched anti-tank missile made in Eastern Europe, 2.8 kilos of TNT and fuses – had been hidden in the house five months ago, on instructions from a fifth ethnic Greek from Kazakhstan, who is serving a prison sentence for armed robberies. Police believe the suspects may have been involved in protection rackets or weapons smuggling, but are also investigating the possibility of the explosives being hidden for use in an elaborate jailbreak scheme.