NEWS

In Brief

KIDNAP FOILED

Six Pakistanis arrested in Kolonos for alleged attempt at abduction Six Pakistani nationals were arrested early yesterday in Kolonos, central Athens, after allegedly trying to kidnap another of their countrymen, police said. The men are thought to have visited the victim’s apartment on two previous occasions to demand money from him for the smuggling of a relative into Greece. Officers did not name any of the people arrested or the alleged victim. TAPPING PROBE MPs from parliamentary committee call for at least two more witnesses Six MPs who are members of the parliamentary committee investigating the phone-tapping scandal yesterday wrote to the head of the committee demanding that at least two more witnesses appear before the panel. The deputies, from PASOK, Left Coalition Synaspismos and the Communist party, said that the committee had agreed that it would question the former head of the police’s anti-terrorist squad, Stelios Syros, and a member of the family of Costas Tsalikidis, the late Vodafone software engineer. The MPs said that the witnesses should have been questioned on Tuesday and no date has been rescheduled for the committee to interview them. DEADLY FIRE Man, 60, dies in Oropos blaze A 60-year-old man was found dead in his home in Oropos, north of Athens, after the two-story building caught fire, authorities said. Firefighters said that they found the man’s charred remains in his home, which was completely destroyed by the blaze. Twelve firefighters using four trucks were involved in the firefighting operation. US consul general Hoyt Brian Yee has succeeded Dimitra Pappas as US consul general in Thessaloniki, it was announced yesterday. Yee served as consul general in Podgorica, Montenegro, for three years. He has also served as European Affairs director for the US National Security Council and worked as a deputy director in the office of former NATO secretary-general Javier Solana. Minors misbehaving Attica police detained a total of eight minors following a crackdown carried out in the early hours of Wednesday morning, officers said yesterday. The youths, all aged between 14 and 17, were stopped for various reasons, including allegedly stealing scooters, raiding a machine that issues tram tickets and stealing from stores. The boys had either acted alone or in pairs, officers said. Armed robbery Two armed men held up a branch of Piraeus Bank in Thessaloniki yesterday and made away with 6,565 euros, police said. The men held up the bank at 9.55 a.m. and escaped on a motorbike. Police have launched a manhunt for the two culprits. Samos search Authorities on the eastern Aegean island of Samos said yesterday that they had not yet been able to find any trace of a 70-year-old German tourist who went missing earlier in the week. The man was apparently vacationing on the island with his wife, who raised the alarm. Rescue teams are using a sniffer dog in their efforts to locate the missing tourist. Missing diver Coast guard officers have been searching since Wednesday night for a missing diver in the Aghios Stefanos area of the Ionian island of Corfu, the Merchant Marine Ministry said yesterday. The unnamed 25-year-old sailed to the area on Wednesday afternoon for some underwater fishing, officers said. The coast guard is using a patrol boat and an airplane to help with the search for the missing man. Mercedes recall Mercedes Benz Hellas said yesterday that it was recalling 103 Vito and Vianio minivans because of a production fault. The vehicles being recalled were manufactured between September 2005 and February 2006. The company is also recalling 31 Actros and Atego trucks. Mercedes Benz will be contacting customers who own the vehicles in question but more information is available by calling 800.11.76000.