Precinct chief tied to artifacts

The chief of a police precinct in Halkidiki, one of 20 people arrested at the end of last month as suspected members of a major cigarette-smuggling ring, has now been implicated in the illegal trade of antiquities, it emerged yesterday. According to police, the 35-year-old precinct chief was «right-hand man» to the ring leader of the racket which is believed to have swindled the state out of some 4 million euros. Officers said they confiscated a large quantity of antiquities from the police chief’s home – including sections of marble friezes, many of which had been mounted on the walls as decoration. A state archaeologist who inspected the artifacts deemed that they had been illegally procured. Police also detained the precinct chief’s 65-year-old father after a search on the latter’s home turned up more antiquities, including two carved marble spheres.