NEWS

In Brief

PEOPLE SMUGGLERS

Three traffickers caught with 108 illegal immigrants at border Greek border guards yesterday arrested 108 illegal immigrants and three suspected traffickers near the border with Turkey, local police said in a statement. The would-be immigrants, whose nationalities were not revealed, were arrested on the main highway at the town of Alexandroupolis, said the statement. The traffickers are suspected of planning to take their human cargo to Athens in a truck belonging to a Turkish company, which had crossed the border on Saturday, the police said. The immigrants had paid 1,000 euros each to be taken to Greece. The police said they had confiscated the truck and three mobile phones, and would continue to hunt for two other suspected traffickers who are allegedly the masterminds of the illegal network. (AFP) ASPROVALTA FIRE Blaze at landfill under control Firefighters yesterday brought under a control a blaze which broke out in a landfill in Asprovalta, near Thessaloniki, authorities said. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire on Saturday, but some 20 firefighters were called to the scene and it took them more than 12 hours to tame the blaze, which had three fronts. Authorities said yesterday that there was no fear of the fire spreading to a nearby forest. The fire in Asporvalta comes some three weeks after a week-long blaze at Thessaloniki’s main landfill in Tagarades. That fire led to milk and poultry produced in the area around Tagarades being withdrawn and destroyed because of high levels of cancer-causing dioxin. Lighthouse vandals The project to complete the restoration of the lighthouse in the Venetian port of Hania, Crete, could be held up by vandals who keep throwing equipment into the sea, authorities said on Saturday. Some two-and-a-half years of restoration work on the port’s Venetian lighthouse is set to be complete by the end of this month, but the contractor said that on several occasions when the site is closed, slabs of stone, cement and equipment had been thrown into the sea. Theft of equipment has also been reported. One of the city’s most famous landmarks, the lighthouse is being restored after years of wear and tear. It is due to be unveiled at a special ceremony toward the end of August. The mayor of Hania said that guards will be posted at the site to make sure vandals do not delay the work. Drugs bust Two people were arrested in Sepolia, central Athens, on Saturday on suspicion of dealing large quantities of drugs, police said yesterday. A 26-year-old Albanian man and a 29-year-old Romanian woman were found to be in possession of 2.5 kilos of heroin, 2.5 kilos of cannabis and 89 grams of cocaine. Officers who raided the apartment also found a weigh scale, a revolver and 11 bullets. Police said the couple used the property to package drugs. The man had been wanted since last year by authorities on the island of Rhodes in connection with smuggling drugs from Albania. Safe break-in Thieves broke into a building owned by the municipality of Peristeri in western Athens and stole a safe containing documents relating to foreigners’ residence permits, police said on Saturday.