An extortion racket that intimidated, threatened and assaulted business owners in exchange for “protection” in the western districts of Athens has been dismantled by Attica police.
Authorities have so far arrested 11 suspects, including three police officers who have been convicted for other crimes in the past and a non-commissioned officer of the Hellenic Navy, and are looking for another 21. Among them is a 35-year-old man believed to be the ringleader, alleged to have carried out several beatings and ordered assaults against prison inmates.
Charges include extortion, arson, drug-dealing and dog-fighting. Authorities say they have confirmed the gang’s involvement in 32 cases of extortion, four arson attacks, two explosions and four car thefts.
During the investigation, police searched 14 houses, confiscating a submachine gun, five pistols, brass knuckles, knives and bulletproof vests.