Net closes on six Zoniana gunmen

Police probing the activities of criminal gangs on Crete said they will soon be in a position to arrest at least six of the perpetrators of a bloody attack on police outside the mountain village of Zoniana in November. The six suspects are believed to have played a key role in the ambush that involved some 20 assailants firing on a police convoy and resulted in serious injuries for one of the officers. The suspects are already known but police are waiting to gather the last pieces of evidence to make their case watertight, officers said. Police said they had made significant progress by cross-referencing evidence that emerged after several weeks of tracing the suspects’ mobile phone exchanges. Meanwhile, seven suspects arrested on Saturday in connection with a series of bank heists and ATM thefts on the island are preparing their defense. The suspects, due to testify before an investigating magistrate today and Thursday, have been linked to at least five bank raids and ATM hits in the Iraklion prefecture that netted them some 267,000 euros. In several of these hits, the ATMs were removed using a crane and truck and emptied in remote areas before being abandoned. The suspects are also charged with the muggings of security firm officials and several counts of attempted manslaughter. Again, an analysis of the suspects’ mobile phone exchanges helped police. But evidence was also discovered in several abandoned trucks, believed to have been used in the raids.