Immigrants held for ransom

Attica police yesterday discovered 22 illegal immigrants locked up and in bad shape in an abandoned rural building in Mandra, 25 kilometers west of Athens. An initial investigation showed that the immigrants, 21 from Pakistan, including five minors, as well as one from Bangladesh, were being blackmailed by the racket that had smuggled them into Greece, and which was asking for sums between 4,000 and 6,000 euros to set them free. The money was to be deposited by the immigrants’ families in bank accounts. One immigrant claimed his brother had been forced to sell a kidney and his house to secure his release. A total of 9,230 euros and a large number of documents belonging to the immigrants were found in two private cars outside the abandoned building. The cars belonged to two Pakistanis and were confiscated. Police are also looking for two unidentified Greeks and two other Pakistanis, aged 41 and 20, apparently all members of the racket.