NEWS

Abducted convict found dead

A 63-year-old convicted drug dealer who had been kidnapped near his home at Hellenikon, southeastern Attica, on Monday night, was found dead yesterday in a hit police believe was carried out by the Egyptian national’s old connections in the drug trade. Mike Antonio, who had been out on a five-day furlough from Alikarnassos prison in Crete when he was abducted, was found in a remote area of Dionysos, northern Athens. The body showed signs of head injuries, according to police. Antonio’s wife, who had been present at the time of the abduction, told police that two armed men had approached them in the street and forced the convict into a car before speeding off with him. Antonio, who had been serving two life terms for cocaine smuggling, is not believed to have continued his involvement in drug crimes from jail. Police said it is more likely that his attackers were old contacts seeking to settle a score but they said they had not ruled out any other possibilities. Meanwhile police seeking the perpetrators behind Monday morning’s abduction of a prominent shipping tycoon reiterated appeals to the kidnappers to release the 74-year-old whose health is believed to be frail. «He has serious health problems and requires medication on a daily basis,» police spokesman Panayiotis Stathis said. It was unclear exactly what health problem Panagopoulos has. Police refused to confirm reports that the kidnappers had told the tycoon’s driver they wanted 40 million euros in exchange for Panagopoulos. The driver had been abducted along with Panagopoulos but later released. According to his deposition, the kidnappers said they would seek up to 40 million euros from the businessman’s family. There had been no reports of a ransom demand by late yesterday.