Police onto explosive market

A police investigation into weapons used by Greek terrorists has uncovered a growing trade of illegal explosives that have found their way onto the market from the country’s quarries, according to sources. Although quarries are permitted to buy and store explosive materials, the law states that they must be used the same day on which they are delivered. According to authorities, companies buy large quantities of dynamite that will meet their needs for a longer period of time in order to cut down on transport and acquisition costs. The dynamite is then often stored in poorly built storerooms that give criminals the opportunity to break in and steal the materials. «This practice had been followed for many years by November 17, while the activation of Revolutionary Struggle has been linked with the theft of explosive materials from Fokida. For the same reason, anti-terrorist authorities have been focusing on Kythera,» a police source told Sunday’s Kathimerini. Senior police officials said that an investigation into the January bombing of the US Embassy in Athens had led them recently to a quarry on the island of Kythera. «We had a tip-off that a person (from Revolutionary Struggle) went to Kythera to steal explosives. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that this may have been done just to throw us off the trail,» the source added. Another cause of concern for police is that legal quarries often sell explosive material to their illegal peers that do not have the necessary permits to buy dynamite. The illicit business has grown as it is difficult for police to find which quarry is illegally storing the potential weapons. «It is not easy to locate stored quantities of explosives. Quarries are built in a way that makes checking on them difficult without the owners seeing you, which means they cannot be taken by surprise,» the source said. »Those in charge (of the quarries) hide the explosives in areas that are difficult to reach,» he added.

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