Greece says Colombian gangs plundering hospitals Europe-wide


Greek authorities say Colombian organized crime rings were behind a string of heists targeting costly medical diagnostic equipment from hospitals in Greece and another 11 European countries.

Police say three Colombian suspects have been identified in connection with last month's four thefts in Greece. Four out of about a dozen stolen pieces of equipment, worth more than half a million euros ($560,000), have been recovered in Colombia.

There were similar thefts in the past four years in France, Germany, Italy, Austria, the Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Croatia and the Czech Republic, Major-General Christos Papazafeiris said.

Papazafeiris, head of security police for the greater Athens region, said Wednesday the stolen equipment had been mailed to Colombia, and was seized in cooperation with local authorities.