NEWS

In Brief

OLYMPIC INVESTIGATION

Prosecutor probes wrongdoing in purchase of land for Athens Games Top prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas has ordered a preliminary investigation into whether several people looking to make a quick profit took advantage of the state’s appropriation of some 15 hectares of land in Schinias, northeast of Athens, to build the Olympic rowing center, court sources said yesterday. Sanidas believes that an 85-year-old man who claimed to own most of the land was used as a front by others who wanted a share of the 8.8 million euros that the state paid to buy the land. The local Municipality of Marathon only received 60,000 euros. Sources said that the problem may lead to investigations into other appropriations before the Athens Olympics. WEBCAM GIRLS Officers arrest man who coerced young women into stripping online Police have arrested a 50-year-old man in Neo Faliron, southern Athens, who allegedly blackmailed young women into allowing him to film them stripping so he could broadcast the images over the Internet to paying customers, officers said yesterday. The man was arrested after officers raided his apartment, which had been divided into several photography studios where he set up webcams to film the girls. The unnamed suspect would lure young women with the promise of paying for topless photos but would then threaten to send the images to the girls’ families unless they took part in his online operation. An 18-year-old victim reported him to the police recently but the man is thought to have blackmailed some 40 women since the start of the year. AIR CRASH Homicide charges for Helios accident A public prosecutor filed homicide charges yesterday over the Helios Airways crash that killed all 121 passengers and crew close to Athens last year, according to authorities. No one was named in the criminal indictment which was issued by Athens prosecutor Eleni Rayiou. The move could lead to prosecution at a later date if the judicial investigation eventually names people considered responsible for the crash. Disruptive fog Thick fog covered Athens International Airport early yesterday causing disruptions to domestic and international flights. Changes included the Olympic Airlines flight from Beirut which was forced to land in Iraklion, Crete, and then travel to Athens an hour later when conditions improved. After 9 a.m. the fog started to disappear and flights continued as normal. Karpathos quake An earthquake measuring 4.8 on the Richter scale shook the eastern Aegean island of Karpathos yesterday morning. The tremor struck at about 6.40 a.m. but did not cause any injuries or damage. Its epicenter was 10 kilometers south of the island and seismologists said they did not expect any other earthquakes to follow. Drug bust Police have arrested four men and are looking for a 31-year-old in connection with the dealing of large amounts of drugs in western Athens, officers said yesterday. The suspects who are in custody are aged between 19 and 27 and are all Albanian nationals. Officers found 14 kilos of cannabis and some 500 grams of heroin in their possession. The 31-year-old, who is also Albanian, is thought to be the head of the gang. He was recently released from jail after serving time for robbery. Kidnap attempt The father of a 7-year-old boy reported the attempted kidnapping of his son to police in Kallithea, southern Athens, on Monday night, authorities said. According to the father, a 30- to 35-year-old-man suspiciously approached his son while he was playing on the street but fled when the child’s friends brought the father’s attention to the stranger. Rain compensation The prefecture of Hania, Crete, will distribute 500,000 euros to residents that suffered property damage from the bad weather that hit the area on October 11 and 17. The prefecture said that estimated damages from the flooding reached 1.2 million euros. Eurobank attack The front window of a branch of Eurobank in Thessaloniki was damaged early yesterday when a homemade explosive device went off outside the bank, police said. No one was hurt in the attack.