Endless redistribution: mafia showdown

The Ministry of Citizens’ Protection has declared war on organized crime, which has recently flourished in the country. The plan to eradicate crime was accelerated by the cold-blooded massacre of 39-year-old boxer Tassos Berdesis in Vari.

This is the fourth “execution” of the so-called Greek mafia since the beginning of the year, and now law enforcement officials in Greece, in particular the Attica police department, are focused on strengthening the fight against crime. An unprecedented flurry of murders, reprisals against “godfathers” and nightlife protectors, began in 2018 and already has more than 15 victims.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Civil Protection told Katimerini yesterday that after consulting the heads of the relevant services, they will immediately “start checking people for whom there is information.”

“We will conduct inspections, raids and arrests,” a source in the ministry said, adding that “inspections will be systematic and will involve officers from special units (OPKE, Action), as well as police officers from the Organized Crime Prosecution Department. and the Office of Criminal Prosecution for Extortion (racketeering).

The harsh measures will continue until other mechanisms for detecting criminal activity – ΕΔΕ and ΣΔΟΕ (tax police and the department of citizens’ income) are activated.

Forty days ago, the Minister of Citizens Protection handed the Greek police report to the prosecutor of the Supreme Court, demanding his intervention in the fight against organized crime in the country.

Let’s remind:

1. On May 7, 54-year-old businessman Dimis Korfiatis was killed in the city of Zakynthos. Two men who ambushed him executed himwhen he was in the accounting office in the capital of the island.

The criminals opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles and fled. A year ago, in June 2020, a 54-year-old businessman was wounded from another ambush, and his 37-year-old wife was killed.

2. On May 16, two performers on a motorcycle drove up to a famous 58-year-old boxer and footballer known in the organized crime community under the pseudonym “Kefalas” (Kefalonian). Near a tavern in Metamorphosis, they approached their victim, and one of the criminals began to shoot him with a pistol. The killer put six bullets in the body of a 58-year-old man. Kefalas has been repeatedly subjected to articles related to racketeering and extortion in the past. An old 2011 dossier states that he was the leader of a gang of racketeers that operated in the metropolitan areas of New Philadelphia, New Chalcedon and Metamorphosis.

3.On May 30, 2021, a 38-year-old Albanian known to law enforcement as “Aris” shot in the cafeteria in Sepolia. This was the fourth recent attack on him. The killer fired eight bullets in the victim. According to the criminal police, a showdown between warring factions in the center of Athens over a drug trafficking market is behind the murder.

4. On Monday, May 31, at about 9 am, in the capital district of Vari, the killers were shot Greek boxer Thassos Berdesis, winner of the TV show Survival Secret. The victim was caught on the road as he was heading to a boxing club.

As it became known, a black jeep drove up to Thassos Berdesis, and one of the passengers shot him with a Kalashnikov assault rifle, while more than 10 cartridges were found at the scene of the murder. One of the bullets hit the boxer in the head. The way his execution was carried out, according to the police, speaks of a contract murder.

The victim was previously well known to the Greek police. In the period 2008-2009. he was accused of being a member of a group of extortionists operating in Patras, where he is from. Later, Thassos Berdesis was tried for attempted murder, and in 2013 he was accused of abetting his fellow countryman from Patras in the case of Alexis Frangos. Togo was accused of murdering a man whom he believed was the murderer of his brother.

In the above cases, Berdesis was acquitted either by the first or second court instance. In 2015, his name was included in the files of the Office of Extortionists (racketeering), cases that occurred in Sepolia, Faliro, Pagrati and Xylokastro.

However, the police who handled the case describe that the boxer played a secondary role in the group, and that he was arrested due to telephone contacts with the alleged Mafia leader.

Relatives who knew the victim describe him as a very capable boxer, although in the past he attracted the attention of the public with his participation in reality shows and the relationship he maintained with Σταρ Ελλάς.

According to police sources, in recent years he has worked as a security guard in nightclubs, as well as, at the same time, a bodyguard for businessmen. According to some estimates, the murder is explained by his clashes and conflicts with the “lads from Patras.”

Secret report ΕΛ.ΑΣ.
There are three main rival criminal groups (mafia clans) in Attica, and the total number of registered (smaller in influence and number of members) exceeds 20. In Patras, Agrinio, Zakynthos, Kalamata and Mykonos, extortionist groups still exist.

This is evidenced by a 100-page confidential report submitted to the Supreme Court Prosecutor Vasilis Pliotas by the Minister of Civil Protection Michalis Chrysochoidis. The classified document lists the names of 500 people who have reportedly “proven themselves” in recent years.

The murder of Vasilis Grivas in 2017 in Glyk Nera is called the turning point of the clan war of the “night mafia”. According to law enforcement analysts, the murder of the former bodybuilder caused an imbalance between the groups and led to a bloody showdown and a series of contract killings of the ringleaders.

The goal of the rival clans was and remains to control the entertainment business (nightlife) and collect tribute (racketeering). Experts estimate that the battle for supremacy (the dominant position of the mafia clan) will continue as there seems to be no hint of a possible “truce”.

The report notes that gangs are also involved in other forms and areas of crime, such as the sale of arms and explosives, the control of brothels, the smuggling of cigarettes and fuel, and they are behind attacks on judges, police and prison officials.

Over the past 15 days, the competent police authorities reportedly carried out a series of checks in 65 nightclubs and clubs. “With banditry, do not hesitate, we will have a war. Organized crime has no ideological basis, but it has big money and has long begun to legitimize its “rights” in business activity, entrepreneurship, ”said Mr. Chrysochoidis, responding to criticism of the opposition in terms of the ongoing barrage of contract killings.

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