NEWS

Big-time drug ring broken

Police in Athens have arrested an Albanian Gypsy and are seeking several more men on suspicion of involvement in what was described yesterday as one of the largest gangs smuggling heroin from Albania to Greece. The group is believed to have imported some 30 kilos of the drug from Albania every two weeks, Attica police said announcing the arrest yesterday. Following a tip-off and a surveillance operation, officers arrested 22-year-old Bashkim Katali on Saturday as he was leaving a flat in the Kerameikos district of central Athens, carrying a suitcase stuffed with 29 kilos of heroin. Police said the gang leader is an Albanian Gypsy believed to live in the Albanian town of Fieri. Another Albanian Gypsy, only known by the name Ilir, who lives in the northwestern Athens suburb of Menidi, is also thought to have held a senior position in the gang. Along with these two, officers are seeking another five Albanian nationals thought to be in Greece who allegedly distributed the heroin throughout Athens.