NEWS

IN BRIEF

KLADAS RESIGNS

Head of financial crimes squad steps down, cites personal reasons The director of Greece’s financial crimes squad, or Special Investigations Service, Spyros Kladas, resigned yesterday, citing personal reasons. Kladas, 44, had been implicated in a sex DVD scandal that shook the conservative government for months. The scandal broke in December when a senior Culture Ministry official, Christos Zachopoulos, attempted suicide, jumping from his apartment balcony after allegedly being blackmailed by a lover employed as his assistant. Kladas has denied any involvement in the scandal. Ministry sources said an investigation into his possible involvement in the matter will continue as normal. ARSON ATTACKS Assailants firebomb two vehicles in third such incident in a week Unidentified assailants early yesterday firebombed two cars – one belonging to the Bosnian Embassy and the second to a regional economic agency – in the third attack of its kind this week, police in Athens said. The first attack, claimed by a group calling itself Anti-State Action, destroyed a car belonging to the Black Sea Development Cooperation. There was no claim of responsibility for the second attack which destroyed a Bosnian diplomat’s car in Holargos. Both attacks were made using improvised devices. Earlier this week arsonists torched two cars belonging to Saudi diplomats. PARENTS ARRESTED Daughter forced into prostitution Police arrested the parents of a 15-year-old girl who had allegedly forced their daughter into prostitution for the last four years, police said. Police also arrested two other suspects in connection with the alleged offense, while a further 14 suspects are being sought for questioning. Authorities said the parents are also believed to have forced the girl’s older sister into prostitution between the ages of 15 and 18. Authorities protest A total of 21 prefectural offices across the country, including those of Athens and Piraeus, remained closed yesterday as local authorities charged that they are being given new duties without being provided with the necessary funding to perform them. Contraband cigarettes Two brothers received 20-year jail sentences for masterminding one of the country’s biggest cigarette smuggling scams. Giorgos and Iraklis Anthemidis had originally received 25-year sentences but the appeals court trimmed their terms to 20 years each. A man found guilty of being an accomplice also received a 20-year sentence, while two more associates got four- and five-year terms for money laundering. Zoning plan Ecologists yesterday criticized a land zoning plan, submitted in Parliament earlier this week, saying that it would pave the way for uncontrolled construction and pose an environmental threat. The main aim of the plan should be the restoration of the environment and not its systematic destruction, according to the Environment and Sustainability Chamber. Tractor death A 53-year-old farmer died yesterday after the tractor he was driving overturned and crushed him on his farm in Messinia, in the Peloponnese. The farmer is believed to have been responsible for the accident. Train accident A train traveling from Kalamata to Messini, in the southern Peloponnese, crashed into a car at an unmarked crossing, authorities said yesterday. There were no reports of injuries. Heroin haul Police said yesterday they arrested seven people in Thessaloniki, members of two families, after finding them in possession of 1.8 kilos of heroin. Authorities found the heroin and other small amounts of cannabis after raiding three separate apartments. Firecrackers confiscated Four people were arrested in the areas of Pieria and Serres, northern Greece, for possessing 4,813 firecrackers, authorities said yesterday. The suspects were aged between 30 and 48, police added.