Brutal muggers killed officer

A policeman found dead in the trunk of his car on Sunday was killed for 100 euros by a youthful gang that hijacked his car at a red light in central Athens, police said yesterday. Six of the eight youths arrested for gang membership were aged under 18, while all belonged to the Muslim minority of Thrace. A ninth suspect is being sought. Police believe the gang, which operated in groups of three or four, is behind at least 15 violent muggings targeting solitary pedestrians or motorists in the city center, Petralona and Kolonos. In certain cases, their victims were savagely beaten to divulge the codes to their credit or cash cards. Officer Constantinos Maounis, 40, was set upon late Saturday night as he was stopped in his car at a traffic light on the corner of Pireos and Koumoundourou streets – one of the city’s busiest intersections. Three of the suspects allegedly wrenched open the car doors and forced him at knifepoint to drive to a secluded spot in Aegaleo where he was strangled and his wallet stolen. It contained 100 euros.