Further arrests made on Crete

Police continued their clampdown on criminal activity on Crete yesterday with the arrests of seven people, one of who is alleged to be a major gunrunner on the island. Sources said that the main suspect was caught in the village of Frangokastelo and is believed to have a previous conviction of selling illegal weapons in the USA as well as in Greece. Sources added that 250,000 euros was found in the suspect’s bank account. The other six men were arrested on firearms offenses in the village of Palaiohora, near Hania, after officers searched 21 homes in the area. Police are believed to be linking the arrests to their operation in the village of Zoniana where, since November, they have been attempting to smash a local criminal gang that is involved in the illegal gun trade, drug dealing, money laundering and various other offenses. Authorities have pledged to beef up the police presence on the island as they attempt to catch the criminals. Sources said yesterday that some 60 officers from mainland Greece would be sent to Crete by Monday. They will help set up an operations center in the area of Mylopotamos, near Zoniana. Authorities have also been looking at suspect transfers of property ownership on the island over the last month as they believe some criminals may be trying to cover their tracks. Some lawyers and accountants might face charges.