NEWS

Volos safe sting nets 6

Six people, including the son of a former deputy Cabinet minister, were charged yesterday with attempting to empty a post office safe in the central town of Volos, after being arrested at the scene of the crime on Monday night. Two of the suspected robbers were found in the post office (ELTA) building, heading for the safe that contained a total of 850,000 euros in cash, while the other four were arrested in two cars parked in the street outside where they had allegedly been acting as lookouts. Police in Volos said yesterday the attempted robbery was foiled after a tip-off. The gang leader is believed to have been a 42-year-old female ELTA employee who worked at a post office in the village of Argalasti, on Mount Pelion, near Volos, and had allegedly managed to worm the code for the Volos post office’s internal alarm system out of a colleague who worked there. Although none of the suspects’ names were made public, reports yesterday said they included the son of a former local PASOK MP and deputy transport minister. After obtaining the key to the internal alarm, the main suspect – who in the past had been suspended for six months for embezzlement – secured the assistance of an electronics expert from Thessaloniki in neutralizing the external alarms. When the suspects arrived in their cars outside the post office, just after 9 p.m., police had already taken up position around the building and were poised to pounce. Once the first two robbers had forced their way into the post office, police switched on jamming devices to prevent them from contacting their associates outside by mobile phone, before proceeding to arrest all six. Police are also seeking to establish whether the prime suspect is connected with the distribution, in the Argalasti area, of forged euro banknotes.