NEWS

Mafia crime is on the rise

Organized crime in Greece is growing. The number of cases in 2004 rose by 13 percent, mainly because the country operates as a bridge to Western Europe for drug and human traffickers, according to a police report. The report released yesterday showed that authorities broke up 178 cases of organized crime last year compared to 157 in 2003. Incidents of crime ranged from drug trafficking to distributing child pornography. The suspects involved originated from countries such as Greece, Albania, Turkey and Russia, with a growing number of Chinese criminals. The report said the resources and skills used by local organized crime are currently not as sophisticated as those employed by similar criminals in other countries. But the gap is closing. Greece appears to be the most popular crossroad to Europe for heroin and cannabis transporters, the report added, while indicating that most of its neighbors are well-known for their production of drugs.