NEWS

In Brief

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Officials on Lesvos detain 27, some with opium in their shoes Port authority officials on Lesvos detained 27 illegal immigrants over the weekend, some of whom were carrying opium. A group of eight male migrants were arrested on Saturday after officials found 1.39 kilos of opium in the soles of their shoes. They said they had reached the island from Turkey. A group of 19 illegal immigrants, were also detained on Lesvos on Saturday. Meanwhile, coast guards in Crete were yesterday evening trying to tow a boat carrying some 150 illegal immigrants to Palaiochora after the vessel’s engine broke down. The migrants said that one person aboard had died, according to officers. ROAD ACCIDENTS Five killed in weekend car crashes Five people died in road accidents on Saturday. Two cousins, aged 19 and 22, died early on Saturday when the car in which they were traveling with a friend veered off a road in Messara, Crete, and crashed into a derelict house. Also early Saturday, a 22-year-old man died after the car he was driving crashed outside Komotini. On Saturday night, a 44-year-old woman and her 25-year-old son were killed after the woman lost control of the car near Xanthi. Car thief A 42-year-old man believed to have broken into and robbed at least 30 cars in Athens since the beginning of the year faced an Athens prosecutor following his arrest on Thursday in Zografou, authorities said on Saturday. The unnamed man would steal cash as well as bank books and credit cards from his victims’ cars and use the latter to withdraw money from their accounts, police said. It was unclear how much money the man had netted. Lethal blaze An 83-year-old woman died on Saturday morning after a fire started in her ground-floor apartment in Pylaia, Thessaloniki. Neighbors dragged Maria Babaratsa out of her home after noticing the blaze, which started in the kitchen, according to the local fire service. Babaratsa, who had fainted, died in the ambulance, probably due to heart problems, according to first-aid workers. Brutal murder Police in Thessaloniki were yesterday investigating the murder of a 38-year-old woman whose body was found outside a new apartment block in the village of Promachi yesterday morning. The unnamed woman, whose body had multiple wounds to the head, had tried to defend herself against her assailant, who probably used a wooden object, according to a coroner. Salonica taxis A new initiative aimed at improving Thessaloniki’s taxi service aims to increase inspections on taxi meters and reduce waiting times for citizens telephoning for a radio taxi, delegates at the first European Taxi Forum heard over the weekend. The Transport and Communications Ministry has pledged 2.5 million euros for the technology needed to realize the initiative, which has already been successfully implemented in Iraklion, Crete.