Minister hails success of Lembidakis rescue


Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas on Wednesday congratulated the Hellenic Police for “one of its biggest coups ever” following the rescue on Monday of a Cretan businessman who had been abducted while driving home outside the town of Iraklio on March 30.

The six-month operation to rescue 53-year-old Michalis Lembidakis should “be taught in law enforcement classes,” Toskas told a press conference in Crete, hailing police for achieving the threefold goal of saving the victim without any loss of life, preventing the kidnappers from getting paid ransom and apprehending if not all then at least the key members of the gang behind the abduction.

Investigators from the Organized Crime Unit in Crete said that there is no evidence suggesting the eight suspects in custody were in any way connected to the 2009 kidnapping of shipowner Pericles Panagopoulos. They also refuted rumors that someone from the businessman’s close circle may have been involved.