NEWS

Ring bust after Iraqi kidnapped

Police freed an illegal immigrant who was kept hostage in Athens and Crete for almost a month and uncovered a human trafficking ring which produced fake Iraqi identity papers to help illegal migrants into Greece, officers said yesterday. The ring was made up of two Iraqis and four Turks, according to police. One of the Iraqis, thought to be the group’s ringleader, was arrested on Tuesday. His capture comes after an Iraqi migrant was abducted in the middle of September. He was one of four family members that had been illegally smuggled into the country last month. Officers said he was kidnapped after the family’s relative in Greece, who was meant to pay their traffickers, failed to come up with the necessary 3,500 euros. The migrant was initially held captive in an Athens apartment before being taken to Hania in Crete while his kidnappers demanded his relatives pay up. After an undercover operation, police caught the ringleader and raided his house, where they found a variety of forged documents and official Iraqi state seals. Police are seeking the other gang members.