Mob-style murder in Moschato

A 30-year-old man was shot dead while waiting at traffic lights on his motorbike in Moschato, south of the central Athens, yesterday, in what police described as being a mob-style hit. Two men were seen approaching the victim, Yiannis Gavakis, also by motorcycle, at around 2 p.m. and shooting him more than five times. Police found nine bullet cartridges where the shooting took place. Authorities are concerned that the murder signals a new round of violence erupting among known criminal gangs in Athens and a show of strength against rivals. Gavakis, who has been connected to protection rackets, is suspected of taking part in the murder of a rival gang member in the summer of 2000. Police believe that yesterday’s death was in response to the murders of Constantinos Koutelieris and Ioannis Katsios, aged 43 and 36, respectively, earlier this month in Peristeri, western Athens. In a chain of attacks that keeps adding new links, September’s dual murder is considered to be in response to the bombing of a car dealership.