In Brief


Athens Airport used as hub by people-smuggling ring Greek police, working with counterparts in France, Germany and the United States, have smashed a ring that helped illegal immigrants obtain boarding cards and forged passports so they could travel from Athens International Airport. Officers said on Saturday that 16 suspects – an Italian, four Afghans, six Poles and five Iranians – have been arrested. Eight of the suspects are being treated as members of the gang, while the other eight were found with forged passports. According to the police, the gang members paid migrants living in Greece between 1,500 and 2,000 euros to buy airline tickets, check in at the airport and then pass their boarding cards to illegal immigrants who had been issued with the forged passports. PRIEST NABBED Allegations of sexual abuse A priest from Thessaloniki was arrested on Saturday after claims by the parents of a 20-year-old that he attempted to sexually assault the man, who has learning difficulties. The priest, who has not been named, was arrested at a hotel in Stylida, northwest of Athens, where his alleged victim lives. The priest is due to appear before a prosecutor tomorrow. Navy flu Two naval officers have been diagnosed with swine flu, authorities said yesterday. Both are reported to be suffering only mild symptoms so far. More than 500 people in Greece have contracted the potentially fatal virus. Squatters targeted A small explosive device went off early on Saturday outside the YFANET textile factory in Thessaloniki, which has been occupied by squatters since 2004. The device, made from cooking gas canisters, exploded at 5.20 a.m. causing minor damage but no injuries. According to police, some of the people occupying the building threw rocks and pieces of wood at officers when they responded to the blast. The large factory, a Thessaloniki landmark, has been in disuse since the late 1960s. The Culture Ministry took it over recently but there have been no moves to evict the squatters who have been living there for the past five years. Baptism of fire Four men were arrested and three policemen slightly injured in the area of Mylopotamos, near the Cretan city of Rethymno, on Saturday when a party to celebrate the forthcoming baptism of a child got out of hand. More than 20 policemen arrived at the party after some of the guests began firing guns in the air. A brawl ensued and officers made the arrests. However, one of the men who were arrested was later released as he was the grandfather of the child that was to be baptized. Costly extraction The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling by an Athens appeals court that a dentist should pay 6,000 euros in damages to a patient who unnecessarily had two teeth removed and was eventually forced to wear dentures. The court ruled that the doctor had caused damage to the body and health of the patient by not first administering a course of antibiotics. As a result of the removal of the patient’s teeth, an infection spread and he was forced to have dentures made.