Gun arrest for envoy to Slovakia

Greece’s ambassador to Slovakia has been suspended from his duties after being arrested by customs officials in northern Greece with a gun, a silencer and ammunition in his car, the Foreign Ministry said yesterday. The senior diplomat, Efstathios Daras, was detained on Sunday in the northwestern port of Igoumenitsa – a major point of entry for travelers from Italy – after a customs check revealed the pistol, the silencer and what the ministry called «a large number of bullets» in his vehicle. The arrest came seven months after the publication in the Slovakian press of claims that Daras had smuggled six firearms from Slovakia into Greece. Daras, who had left Bratislava on leave on Friday, was brought before an Igoumenitsa court yesterday, but the hearing was postponed until June 15. Foreign Minister Petros Molyviatis ordered Daras to be temporarily relieved of his duties, and instructed ministry officials to launch an investigation into why Athens had only been notified yesterday of the press reports concerning the ambassador’s alleged gunrunning.

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