NEWS

In Brief

EARTHQUAKE

Patras shaken again An earthquake measuring 4.5 on the Richter scale occurred in the sea off Patras just after 2.30 a.m. yesterday. No damage or injuries have been reported. Two quakes, measuring 4.2 and 4.4, hit the same area on Thursday. Contraband cigarettes Athens has requested Nicosia’s help in summoning representatives of 17 Cypriot tobacco firms to testify in connection with the discovery, in December, of 40 million euros worth of contraband cigarettes in a Thessaloniki harbor warehouse, according to press reports in Cyprus. At least two Cypriot firms are believed to be connected with the smuggled cigarettes. The reports said on Saturday that the Cypriot government has accepted the request, but cannot compel company officials to comply with their summonses to Greece. Illegal immigrants Four illegal immigrants were escorted back to the Turkish coastal resort of Bodrum on Saturday after Kos port officials alerted their Turkish counterparts to the inflatable rowboat carrying the immigrants toward the shores of the Aegean island. Port officials did not disclose the nationality of the immigrants. Gun attack Police in the northern town of Xanthi are searching for five unidentified men who attacked a carful of three people in the town center yesterday. They shot the driver, who had to be hospitalized, and wrecked the vehicle with crowbars. The two passengers were unhurt following the attack by the five men, three of whom were masked and armed. Pilots defrauded A man who allegedly posed as a pilot with international connections and went on to embezzle 37.6 million drachmas (110,400 euros) from two genuine pilots was arrested in the southern Athens suburb of Glyfada yesterday. Athanassios Kourbanas, 42, allegedly told the two pilots he had contacts with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) before asking them to lend him the money for a property purchase, saying he would reimburse them at the end of January when he could access cash ostensibly tied up in mutual funds. – Federation of Secondary School Teachers (OLME) holds a protest rally in central Athens.