Police hunt down Crete kidnappers, rescue victim


A 54-year-old businessman who was abducted six months ago told investigators after he was rescued on Monday that he had been moved to at least five different hideouts during his incarceration.

Investigators also revealed that the kidnappers used burner phones in their communications and made ransom demands – which started at 100 million euros and dropped to 18 million last month – via SMS to avoid detection. 

Michalis Lembidakis was rescued from a car junkyard on the outskirts of Rethymno, Crete, where he was found in a bare room with nothing but a mattress, chained by the ankle and extremely emaciated.

He had been abducted on March 30 while driving outside Iraklio, prompting a large-scale police operation.

Eight people have been arrested so far in connection with the kidnapping, including a 45-year-old man who was recently accused of firebombing an office of ruling SYRIZA and attacking a bailiff carrying out a property seizure.