NEWS

In Brief

Candidate dead

Ex-mayor of Nea Halkidona has heart attack at the wheel The 46-year-old former mayor of Nea Halkidona in northwestern Athens died in a car crash in the suburb of Perissos late on Monday, police said. According to police, Giorgos Apostolakis probably suffered a heart attack while driving, causing him to crash into two vehicles. The other two motorists were unhurt. Apostolakis, running as an independent candidate, had been leading the race to head the extended municipality of Nea Philadelphia – Halkidona and had been due to run off against his rival Stavros Kontos in the second round this Sunday. Cocaine in Patra Four held for 48-kilo haul Police in Athens yesterday were questioning a 48-year-old Albanian man over a 48-kilogram haul of cocaine intercepted at the western port of Patra, where officials detained three people. Coast guard officers in Patra stepped up their inspections after receiving a tip over a week ago that a vehicle carrying a large quantity of drugs would be arriving from Italy. During an inspection on a truck that arrived from the Italian port of Bari on Monday, sniffer dogs detected the drugs inside a wooden box hidden under the driver’s bed. The packaged drugs had been smeared in a special cream and wrapped in carbon paper. The driver and two passengers were detained. Authorities briefed their counterparts who traced the Albanian believed to be the intended recipient of the drugs. False alarm A suspicious package reported to police by staff at the Hungarian Embassy in central Athens was found to be innocuous. Bomb disposal experts destroyed the package before determining that it contained only documents. Migrant chase Police in Aghios Stefanos, a suburb north of Athens, yesterday detained an undocumented immigrant from Albania and were seeking a second man, also believed to be in Greece illegally, after the pair started running as soon as they spotted the officers. Police gave chase, catching the first man, but the second suspect entered a primary school, causing panic among pupils and teachers. Fears that the man could take a hostage did not materialize but the suspect managed to get away. Kallithea burglary Two intruders broke into the home of an elderly couple in Kallithea, southern Athens, early yesterday and threatened the pair at knifepoint, forcing them to hand over an undetermined amount of cash and jewelry. The 81-year-old man and his wife, 72, were not hurt in the raid. Wind woes Strong winds reaching up to 8 on the Beaufort scale kept passenger ferries moored in Piraeus and other ports around the country yesterday. Passengers with scheduled departures from Piraeus and other ports to the Aegean are advised to contract the ferry firm in advance to check scheduling. On Monday night, strong winds caused the Superfast XII passenger ferry to hit the jetty at Iraklio, Crete, as it returned to port to fix a faulty ramp shortly after setting off for Piraeus. The collision resulted in minor damage to the vessel but no injuries. Meanwhile a small tornado caused widespread damage to houses on the Ionian island of Zakynthos, in the southern town of Vassiliko.