Police lose two cuffed criminals

Four handcuffed Albanian criminals managed to escape yesterday from a well-guarded police van in Piraeus while being transferred from prison to prison. Two of the dangerous convicts – who were handcuffed in pairs – were almost immediately recaptured after a quick-thinking passer-by tripped them up as they ran past. The other two, an armed robber and a murderer serving long sentences, remained at large late yesterday, despite a wide-ranging police manhunt. The fugitives were identified as Albert Brakats, 25, who was sentenced to 20 years for armed robbery and theft, and Kristi Janku, 23, who was serving a 25-year term for murder, armed robbery and theft. The escapees were among a group of 19 Albanian criminals being transferred from prison in Crete to penitentiaries in other parts of Greece. When the police van – in which 10 guards were riding – stopped outside a Piraeus temporary detention center, some of the prisoners created a diversion while the four made a run for it. A police inquiry has been ordered into the escape.