Cretan probe heads abroad

Suspects involved in organized crime such as drug-trafficking activities in the Cretan village of Zoniana are believed to have been laundering their money through international real estate investments, sources said yesterday. The Finance Ministry’s Special Investigations Service has ordered the opening of bank accounts belonging to suspects from Zoniana and believe that money from illegal activities has been plowed into investments abroad. Police have launched large-scale investigations in the village after last week’s shooting of a police officer during an attempted raid on drug dealers. Sources said police have narrowed down the suspects believed to have taken part in the shooting to five men aged between 25 to 30. Almost two weeks of investigations have uncovered cannabis- and cocaine-processing workshops, large quantities of dynamite and guns. A team of internal affairs officers from Athens has also been sent to the island to probe local money-laundering activities and possible links between police and criminals. According to press reports, a senior police officer stationed in Crete has been suspended, pending an investigation into alleged links to local criminals. Meanwhile, the condition of a 28-year-old special forces officer who was shot in the neck during last Monday’s ambush had improved yesterday, doctors said.