NEWS

In Brief

Corruption crackdown

Official caught taking 1,000 euros to issue documents The head of the forestry authority in Lavrio, southern Attica, was charged with bribe-taking and blackmail after being caught in the act of accepting 1,000 euros from a local resident who had requested a certificate classifying a plot that he owned as farmland. On being asked for the backhander, the resident contacted police, who advised him to pay the official in marked bills. The official was arrested after accepting the cash by police waiting outside his place of work. Three hundred euros was found on him and the remaining 700 euros was discovered hidden in the bathroom next to his office. Drachma fears Ex-judge sues over rumors A retired appeals court magistrate yesterday took legal action against all parties responsible for speculation about Greece being forced to leave the eurozone and return to its old currency, the drachma. Argyris Tsichlas lodged a legal suit with a Thessaloniki prosecutor against «all those who have been propagating false information or rumors, sufficient to create concern and fear among citizens and to shake public trust in the common currency.» Heroin haul Police narcotics squad officers near the Turkish border yesterday detained a 28-year-old citizen of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia believed to belong to a major drug-smuggling racket based in Turkey. Officers said they found 74 kilograms of heroin after searching a pickup truck being driven by the suspect, who had just entered the country from Turkey. Police believe that the drugs found in the truck had been destined for Italy. Fatal fire Firemen yesterday recovered the charred remains of a 45-year-old Romanian man from the ashes of his trailer in Pikermi, east of Athens. According to police, who are investigating the possibility of foul play, the man had been staying in the trailer temporarily while working on a nearby construction site. The man’s permanent base had been a rented apartment in Piraeus, police said. Chain reaction Police in Thessaloniki yesterday were seeking a man who mugged a 67-year-old woman on a central street in the city center – tearing two gold chains off her neck, running off and disappearing into the crowd. It is thought that the perpetrator may have been a drug addict seeking valuables to trade for his next fix of the narcotic. Frogs return An army of frogs returned to the Egnatia Highway, in northern Greece, yesterday following a bout of heavy rain caused nearby lakes to swell. Traffic police said that a traffic accident on the road earlier in the day, which caused damage to the central barrier but no injuries, had not been provoked by the frogs. At the end of last month, thousands of frogs had swarmed onto the same road following several days of heavy rain.