December 7, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Operation Shadow ends prematurely

“Shadow” – this is the name given by the leaders of the Ministry of Citizens’ Protection to the operation to spy on the eight most influential and active members of the Greek mafia.

The decision on it was taken at a closed meeting in the police headquarters on Katechaki Avenue and put into effect within a few months after the assassination of businessman Georios Mitsos (June 2022), with the participation of police officers from the Department for Investigating Crimes Against Life and Property (ΥΔΕΖΙ). It provided for round-the-clock video surveillance of eight Greek mafia bosses in such a way that it became absolutely clear to them that their movements were being recorded. EL.AS.

Competent sources told the media that in the first period after the start of the special operation, some of the “targets” contacted the security service, asking if they were in danger of being arrested.

“In this way, we managed to achieve a ceasefire. They could not hold meetings, plan actions, because they knew that they were being watched,” a source in the ministry commented.

On the sidelines, security officials also had “friendly” conversations at the Attica Police Headquarters, and not just with the eight mafia bosses they were monitoring, signaling that the police could play a regulatory role, sometimes helping to resolve dangerous misunderstandings in the criminal community.

The group of eight included Vassilis R., 38, who was killed shortly before midnight on Wednesday 7 May in Korydallos. For several months, he was the subject of apparent surveillance by security officials and was also allegedly called twice to GADA to participate in informal conversations with security officials.

However, in the spring, in the midst of yet another police crisis, the decision was made to end Operation Shadow. Some high-ranking officials of the Ministry of Civil Defense, as well as operational officers of the Security Service, expressed their objections, but they were not heeded.

Almost 50 bullets were fired at two men from a Kalashnikov assault rifle

The Katechaki Police Department and the Security Department also received information that an influential member of the Greek mafia was plotting to assassinate Vassilis R., as well as information that the victim himself planned the execution of this influential rival mafia boss. “The ‘I’ll kill you before you can kill me’ logic prevailed,” a Greek police source close to the investigation said.

Together with Vasilis R., his sister’s husband Dionisis M., they were in an armored Mercedes jeep and came under fire at 11.18 pm near Vasilis’ house in Korydallos. Dionisis M. got out of the passenger seat to open the garage door of the apartment building. He came under heavy fire from a Kalashnikov assault rifle and ended up a few meters from the house.

Almost simultaneously, the second shooter opened the driver’s door (the bullets did not penetrate the armor) and shot Vasilis point-blank. About 50 cartridge cases from two Kalashnikov assault rifles were found at the scene. The jeep belonged to EDISIS DOT KOM, owner of the radio and television station SKAI(?!).

In a statement, the company said: “We confirm that the vehicle allegedly involved in the murder that occurred last night (Wednesday) in Korydallos has been owned by EDISIS DOT KOM since 2010. This vehicle has been sitting in an unknown location for a long time, and we do not we know how it came into the possession of the victim. We are in contact with the authorities for any further information and assistance.”

The car of the perpetrators, a black Ford Kuga, was found burned in the Scaramanga area. It was hijacked earlier from Chalandri. The 38-year-old was serving a prison sentence for his role in the 2007 murder of Panathinaikos fan Michalis Filopoulos in Peania. According to police sources, he belonged to the mafia group of Vassilis Stefanakos and Giannis Skaftouros, who were killed in 2018 and 2022 respectively. They allegedly made money from fuel and cigarette sales, and controlled gas stations, some in association with individuals convicted of terrorism. Some information, not yet confirmed, linked him to the execution of the businessman – the owner of the station – Georgios Mitsos on Marathonos Avenue.

The second person killed, Dionysis M., allegedly belonged to the group of guard Yiannis Skafturus. In March 2022, these two people were together when police officers from the MI.AS group. stopped for control the Smart car in which they were traveling on the coastal avenue of Poseidonos. Both of them had a gun at that moment.

Employees of the homicide department do not rule out that the double murder is an act of revenge for carrying out a contract killing. However, they consider it more likely that this was a show of force by one of the last powerful members of the Greek mafia.

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