Prankster makes his last call ‘for fun’

A 26-year-old man accused of triggering 220 bogus bomb alerts that created havoc in the city during the busy Christmas period was arrested yesterday in what he told authorities was something he did for fun. Giorgos Tseilakis, a farmer, was arrested in the village of Skiada, in the Peloponnese, after he allegedly targeted different public areas, including Syntagma Square in the city center, Omonia train station and the prime minister’s residence. The prank calls had kept police on their toes as they followed the bomb explosion at the Economy and Finance Ministry on December 12 which was claimed by extremist group Revolutionary Struggle. Tseilakis allegedly began the pranks on December 13, which he then continued on a daily basis. Police managed to trace the calls after receiving judicial permission to lift the privacy rights covering telephone communications. Sources said that he also confessed yesterday to attempting two bomb hoaxes during the Athens Olympic Games in 2004. He has been charged with several criminal offenses and misdemeanors, including endangering the public, falsely alerting authorities and disturbing the peace. Irate shop owners who saw their stores empty because of the pranks will be able to take legal action against the suspect. Police said that public agencies and businesses will be handed details of his testimony so that they can sue for financial damages.

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