4 charged with bank vault theft

Two employees at the Kalamata branch of the Bank of Greece, from whose vault 5.9 million euros went missing last week, were charged yesterday with masterminding the theft. Apart from clerk Costas Anazikos, 29, and night guard Costas Sakkas, 45, a Kalamata prosecutor also charged Anazikos’s father, Efstathios, and Sakkas’s business partner, Vassilis Kobotis, with receiving stolen goods. Police arrested all four after Sakkas allegedly confessed on Monday to having participated in the heist, which from the outset of the investigation had been regarded as an inside job. Officers retrieved some 1.3 million euros buried on land owned by Sakkas – who fingered Anazikos as having masterminded the theft. Police believe the money was stolen early on October 2. It is still unclear, however, how the thieves acquired access to the vault itself, to which only two people held the keys. The same two – one of who was the branch manager – each knew half the code number that opened the combination lock to the vault. The theft was discovered on Friday.