NEWS

Hit man caught before kill

A navy officer was arrested late on Sunday for allegedly planning to kill an Athens nightclub owner for 30,000 euros in an operation allegedly involving corrupt police, nightclub extortion rackets and sabotage. Police said yesterday 31-year-old Christos Loukopoulos was detained by security at the Caramela nightclub on Syngrou Avenue after he was found loitering near the nightspot. In a filmed confession, Loukopoulos told security staff he was planning to kill their boss, Yiannis Voutirakos, after being hired to do so by a rival business owner. Loukopoulos had collected 15,000 euros as a downpayment for the murder and would have collected the rest of the money after the hit, said a police source. He had been instructed to shoot the victim once in the head and then three times in the chest, the source added. Police charged the navy officer and launched an investigation into claims he bought the weapon he was carrying from a police officer stationed at a precinct in Kypseli, central Athens. Another nine people were allegedly involved in Sunday’s planned murder but police did not identify them nor specify what their roles may have been. The owner of a rival nightspot, located a few meters away from the Caramela, is alleged to have ordered the execution after two of his key staff members quit and went to work for Voutirakos. Police did not give any details of the people they suspect of being involved in the murder plot. The navy officer has also allegedly confessed to participating in other extortion rackets, involving nightclub owners and well-known singers, police added.