NEWS

Police crack huge pickpocket racket

Police in Athens said yesterday that they had cracked the biggest pickpocket ring ever to have operated in the capital, arresting 72 suspected members, all immigrants, as well as a 26-year-old Greek national employed as a security guard at the central Victoria station on the Piraeus-Kifissia urban electric railway (ISAP). According to police, the ring members – 69 Romanians and three Bulgarians – operated in groups of eight to 10 on the ISAP and metro network with the aid of the guard, who is alleged to have helped them in exchange for a cut of the ring’s illicit proceeds. The 56 men and 16 women are believed to have received regular tips from the security guard as to the whereabouts of police officers at Victoria and other stations. The ring members are believed to be behind dozens of muggings on commuters, none of which resulted in injuries. Police said they found 45 empty wallets in a garbage dumpster outside Victoria station.