NEWS

Huge Attica sex racket smashed by police

Police yesterday detained 13 suspected members of a prostitution ring believed to have been one of the largest and best organized ever to operate in Attica, with an annual turnover of some 3.5 million euros and daily takings of up to 12,000 euros. Police who infiltrated the ring after two officers posed as prospective customers said yesterday that they were seeking another 22 people, including the suspected ring leaders, two Albanian brothers, aged 29 and 34. According to police, the ring offered the services of 100 foreign women, chiefly Russians, and also employed around 50 drivers to chauffeur them to and from their appointments. Twelve of the alleged prostitutes were detained for questioning at the central police headquarters on Alexandras Avenue. According to their testimonies, they pocketed just 10 to 15 euros of the 150 charged for each sexual encounter. The women were lured to Greece via a bogus employment agency in Russia, Attica Police Chief Yiannis Dikopoulos said, adding that the sex workers were accommodated in nine apartments in different parts of Attica. The ring is believed to have laundered its illicit profits using a yacht rental firm that police are looking into. The firm, with the trade name Istioploikoi Dromoi (Sailing Routes), has been renting out six luxury yachts, moored at Alimos Bay, police said. Officers, who believe that the two Albanian ringleaders may already have fled to their homeland, have contacted their Albanian counterparts for cooperation in tracking the two brothers. Two bank accounts belonging to the suspects and containing some 1.5 million euros have been frozen, police in Athens said.