NEWS

Zoniana developments expected

Police are expecting to announce today or tomorrow that forensic tests on weapons seized from Zoniana village in Crete can be linked to some of the chief suspects, as one local wanted by authorities handed himself in yesterday. Officers confiscated 45 firearms, mostly AK-47 assault rifles, from the village, which appears to have been a hub of lawlessness and illegal activity on the island. Police sources said yesterday that they expect some DNA evidence to link suspects to several of the guns but they are not hopeful that they will also be able to prove who shot a 28-year-old officer earlier this month. Efstathios Lazaridis remains in critical condition after being shot in the head on November 5 as police attempted to raid the village. Doctors said that his condition is extremely serious and that he is breathing through a ventilator. A 23-year-old man sought by police turned himself in to officers in Iraklion. A relative of the unnamed man has already been arrested for possession of drugs after being caught with 1.5 kilos of hashish and 340 grams of cocaine on November 2. The 23-year-old was with the suspect when his car was stopped but managed to evade arrest. Officers were attempting to search his house in Zoniana on November 5. Police sources said that officers are focusing their attention on six main suspects as they look to break up gangs involved in drug dealing, arms possession and money laundering. Ten people that had been taken in for questioning on Tuesday were released yesterday. In a bid to boost their numbers in Crete at a time when they are looking to clamp down on illegal activity on the island, the police offered incentives yesterday to officers willing to serve a three-month stint there. Officers taking up the offer will be granted one-off bonuses and overtime payments.