Police search beyond Zoniana

Police yesterday continued their search of the Cretan village of Zoniana and surrounding areas for a fifth day despite growing protests by locals disgruntled by the constant presence of authorities. Officers continued to inspect all vehicles visiting and leaving the village and intensified their search for drugs and guns in other villages in the broader Milopotamos region, such as Anogeia and Livadia. They also checked nearby caves and ravines and are due to inspect local water channels. The arsenal of confiscated weapons, including assault rifles and hand grenades, continued to grow while more cannabis was seized. Of those locals charged in connection with drug dealing and weapons possession, two were yesterday remanded in custody, another four are to defend themselves before an investigating magistrate today and one was released on conditional bail. Meanwhile, seven Zoniana residents who have received jail sentences of up to 12 months for various misdemeanors were released pending appeal. On Saturday some 200 locals, mostly men, staged a march through their village to protest the constant presence of police, claiming that they were being routinely humiliated and disturbed without good reason. Some protesters claimed that local children were being «harassed» by officers and reporters seeking leads.

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