Sweep nets 551 suspects

In one of the biggest operations of its kind, a police sweep of areas of high criminal activity in four major cities around the country, involving some 2,000 officers, resulted in the arrest of over 500 suspects and checks on more than 20,000 people by early yesterday. The operation, nicknamed «Polis,» began simultaneously on Thursday night in Athens, Thessaloniki, Larissa and Iraklion. Some 2,100 policemen were involved, the majority in Attica, in cracking down on activity in well-known crime hot spots. The sweep, which lasted into the early hours of yesterday morning, led to the arrest of 551 suspects, among them an Albanian national wanted for murder in his country since 1991. Almost a quarter of those caught were arrested on suspicion of being on the run from the law, while the others were taken into custody in connection with crimes ranging from drug offenses to illegal gambling. Police pledged similar raids in other cities.

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