Κυριακή 14 Απριλίου 2024
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At least two arrests made in organized crime-linked killing of six Turks last month outside Athens

At least two arrests made in organized crime-linked killing of six Turks last month outside Athens

The arrested man has been identified as a 32-year-old Turkish national

Greek police on Wednesday said a formal arrest was made in relation to the gangland-style killing of six Turkish men east of Athens proper last month, a case linked by the media to competing organized crime gangs in Istanbul.

The bodies of the six victims were found in a semi-rural road in the vacation home district of Artemida (Loutsa), due east of the greater Athens area.

The arrested man has been identified as a 32-year-old Turkish national who allegedly planned and executed a “contract killing” after misleading the victims into believing he was working to smuggle them to Italy.

The suspect, identified only as “Suleiman”, was first detained some two hours after the attack at the nearby Athens International Airport. He was planning to board a plane for the eastern Aegean Island of Lesvos, which lies off the Asia Minor coast, i.e. Turkey.

Another man, also a Turkish national, was arrested on Tuesday in a south Athens district and charged as an accomplice.

Witness statements and video footage place both suspects at the scene of the crime, police said.

Authorities are searching for at least one more suspect, whose identity remains unknown, and possibly for a fourth suspect.

The first suspect, according to police, lured the victims to an ambush by showing up at their rented home and presenting them with forged air travel tickets. He also persuaded them to all pile into his vehicle. They were ambushed roughly a kilometer from where they were holed up.

Nearly 60 spent bullet casings were found at the scene of the massacre, along with fake IDs on the victims. Besides their initial gunshot wounds, all six of the victims had been shot in the head at close range.

The 32-year-old man, however, was intercepted at the airport when four bullets were detected in his travel bag, with a further examination revealing that he was in possession of two forged identification cards. Authorities suspect he forgot the ammunition in his belongings due to a hasty departure.

He continues to maintain his innocence since being first detained.

Both suspects have attracted Greek law enforcement’s attention in the past for violations related to weapons possession and illegal migrant trafficking.

However, they remained out of custody and free to move around the country by requesting and being granted political asylum.

Media reports in Turkey claim the 32-year-old was a police officer in that country, before fleeing abroad after being accused as a Gulenist.

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Κυριακή 14 Απριλίου 2024