NEWS

Officer accused of robbing migrant

An Athens policeman has been suspended after allegedly stealing 600 euros from a Bangladeshi immigrant during a routine identity check on central Patission Avenue early yesterday. The 22-year-old officer is alleged to have removed the cash from the wallet of the 30-year-old migrant, which he had taken to check the man’s identity card. The migrant, who had been on his way home from the restaurant where he works, said he realized the cash was missing from his wallet after the policeman and his colleague had driven off in their patrol car. The 30-year-old said he then approached an officer in another patrol car parked further along the same street and told him what had happened. The officers traced the 22-year-old, determined that it was he who had questioned the migrant and reportedly found the cash on him. Migrant support groups often accuse police of seizing money from immigrants, but it is the first time that an officer has been charged with doing this. The development came as a study commissioned by the British Council revealed that immigrants account for 17 percent of the population in the Greek capital. According to the study, nearly half (42.8 percent) of migrants who come to Greece live in Athens, but only over one-third (37 percent) have valid residents’ permits. According to a study by Public Issue and the Hellenic Migration Policy Institute, 48 percent of Greeks believe migrants are threatening the country’s national identity, while nearly three quarters of those asked (71 percent) think migrants are to blame for a rise in crime.