According to the Greek law enforcement agencies, 30 foreigners were detained, accused of committing thefts against public transport passengers as part of a criminal gang.
These are 20 Albanians, 8 Pakistanis, 1 Romanians and 1 citizen of Bangladesh. At the same time, the identities of their accomplices, 9 more foreigners, have been established, they are on the wanted list.
The arrests were made during a special operation of the Athens Police Department with the assistance of the OPKE. The detainees were charged with creating a criminal organization, committing theft, as well as violating the law on the prevention and suppression of money laundering.
According to ΕΛΑΣthe defendants since the beginning of October 2021 have formed a hierarchically structured criminal organization with continuous action, clearly defined roles, divided into subgroups.
The purpose of the criminals was to commit daily thefts in public transport (city buses, trolleybuses, metro, NΣAP, KTEL station of Kifissos and trains of the railway station of Larissa), as well as outside at bus stops.
Leading participants in the spiral chose their potential victims according to the ease of theft. The defendants traveled on various public transportation routes that had the highest rush hour congestion, while causing a stampede to extract the victim’s wallet.
It is noted that the criminals preferred to remain unnoticed and knew perfectly well where security cameras were installed and where there were “blind” zones.
In addition, they used specific code words and expressions in their telephone conversations. After the thefts, they divided the booty: they took the money for themselves, and the items (wallets, phones, watches, etc.) were sold to buyers of stolen goods.
At the moment, as a result of the police investigation, 81 thefts have been identified, the financial benefit of which, according to ΕΛΑΣ, exceeds 50,000 euros.
As a result of searches conducted in 20 houses of members of a criminal organization, as well as in 2 shops of buyers of stolen goods, the following were found and seized: 10 laptops, 83 mobile phones, 11 watches, 5 wallets, 3 bags, a large number of women’s bracelets, the amount of cash is 3070 euros , 5 cars, 2 motorcycles, a large number of accessories for mobile phones, tablets and laptops, 308 phone cards, raw hemp, as well as a number of documents, handwritten notes, public transport tickets, and receipts for money orders.
It is noted that most of the gang members in the past were arrested for similar offenses. The detainees were taken to the prosecutor’s office in Athens.