Morning raid nets Zoniana suspects

Police arrested eight people in Crete on Saturday in connection to a series of bank heists on the island in a move that also targets criminal gangs based in the village of Zoniana. Authorities said they searched 10 homes in the mountainous area around Zoniana in an early morning raid that was «well organized» by the police, prosecutors and officers of the Special Investigations Service, the government’s financial crimes unit. Among those arrested is a woman believed to be the wife of a key suspect involved in the bank thefts who is currently in custody on drug charges. Police have stepped up investigations in the broader area of Crete after a series of recent bank robberies and thefts from cash machines. On a number of occasions, the thieves would carry away the ATM by lifting it onto a small truck using a crane before emptying its contents in a remote mountainous area. Police said seven of the eight suspects arrested were from Zoniana along with one person from a nearby village. While the operation was taking place, residents attacked police, throwing rocks and metals bars at them, which resulted in the injury of two officers, said a source. Some residents then gathered outside of the police station in Iraklion, where the suspects are being held, and demanded their release on the grounds that no warrant had been issued for their arrests.