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Illegal drug trade flourishing in Greece March 28, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Health & Fitness, Police & Crime.
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The illegal drug trade is flourishing in Greece, thanks to a “pyramid” system of dealers and middlemen that is perpetuated and protected by a network of friends and associates, a new study has shown.

One of the most shocking findings of the study – a collaboration between drug addicts, support organization staff, policemen, lawyers and journalists – is that the average dealers are family men. Most of these dealers push about 1 to 2 kilos at a time to mediators who then sell smaller quantities to users. The study also found that the average middlemen are foreigners with low incomes.

The most fertile ground for drug-dealing networks are industrial areas with ample storage and logistics facilities, it was revealed. As for the trade in drugs, busy urban areas are the most promising for would-be dealers. In Athens, central Omonia Square is like a “department store” for drugs, with different groups of pushers offering various narcotics at different times of day, the study said. Many Athens nightclubs also tolerate the illegal drug trade on their premises, the study found. According to Sofia Vidali, a criminology professor who led the study, drug dealing is not only flourishing in clubs but also in schools and offices in certain neighborhoods where dealers have a heightened presence.

As for prevention, police efforts have not been particularly effective, according to the study, which noted that only 10 to 20 percent of drugs circulating on the market actually fall into police hands. According to Nikos Paraskevopoulos, a lecturer on criminal law at Thessaloniki’s Aristotle University, new legislation is not needed. It would be enough if existing legislation was enforced, he said.

British man gets 15 years for child sex March 27, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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A Thessaloniki court yesterday passed down a 15-year jail sentence to a 66-year-old British man found guilty of sexually molesting a schoolboy and trying to molest another.

The man, identified by The Associated Press as John Norman Hardy Foss, was an English teacher, the court heard. But his two victims, aged 11 and 12, were not his pupils. He lured them into his car in the summer of 2006 before driving them to a remote spot. There he sexually abused one of them and tried to abuse the second, who resisted.

The crime came to light in July 2006 when two women in the neighborhood of Katerini told police they saw the 66-year-old dropping off the boys. The Briton was arrested and detained until last January when he got a conditional release. In addition to his jail sentence, the 66-year-old was fined 150,000 euros.

A website warns of ads impostor > so be warned! March 20, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Police & Crime.
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The online classified ads website www.bazaraki.com yesterday warned that an imposter claiming to be a representative of the site was calling up customers requesting payment for ads, which are actually free.

According to the director of the website, Saskia Koper-Groenevelt, “a woman called up a man who placed an ad for construction work and claimed to be calling from bazaraki.com, requesting money in order for the advert to be renewed or upgraded for the price of 97 euro. Luckily the man said he would think about it and gave no money”.

Bazaraki.com is in fact a free service. The company is investigating the possible number of victims and is considering taking legal and other actions.

If you have been contacted by someone claiming to be a representative of Bazaraki.com asking for money for ads, kindly email info@bazaraki.com immediately.

Would you like some bullets or guns with your Martini, Sir? March 6, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Bullets, guns found in Athens bar

Police have arrested the manager of a bar in Psyrri, the popular nightlife district in central Athens, after finding guns, ammunition and equipment that could be used to make an explosive device on the premises.

Officers raided the bar, which was not named, after reports that it was operating without a license. During a search of the premises, police found two handguns and some 70 bullets in a storage room. They also came across a detonator and remote control that explosives experts said could be used to make a bomb. Police are looking for the bar owner.

Greek Police foil sale of precious Roman statue March 3, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Two men have been arrested in Thessaloniki on suspicion of trying to sell an illegally excavated Roman period statue thought to be of significant archaeological value, police said on Saturday.

The 1.15-meter statue was found in a trailer that was parked near the city’s airport. Archaeologists told police that the artifact is an important find and would fetch a lot of money if sold, though no specific amount has been made public.

Police believe the statue was being kept in the trailer while the two suspects, aged 57 and 50, negotiated its sale to an, as yet, unidentified buyer. Officers found several other artifacts when they searched the home of the 50-year-old. 

Web tightens for Internet crimes in Greece February 29, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Internet & Web, Police & Crime.
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Greece is set to enhance the powers given to authorities to investigate Internet crimes following a series of defamation suits against the people behind the controversial press-gr news blog, it emerged yesterday.

The Justice Ministry is working on a bill that will give police the right to examine the personal data of anyone suspected of conducting an offense online.

Service providers will also have to take immediate steps to preserve any information that pertains to someone suspected of an electronic crime.

Police will also be allowed to conduct their investigations in real time and not have to wait for an offense to be committed in order to collect information about a suspect.

Authorities came up against a brick wall yesterday in their attempt to find out who had posted an allegedly libelous story on the press-gr blog while using a computer inside Parliament.

The blog has come under scrutiny after more than 150 people filed libel suits against the people that run it. One of the controversial items appears to have been uploaded by an MP or someone else working in Parliament.

However, Parliament’s general secretary Nikos Stefanou said yesterday that the Internet Protocol (IP) address provided by the police is one of 25 that is available to some 1,500 computer users in the House. He also said that there was no system set up to monitor the use of computers in Parliament.

Officers also checked out two other places from where messages were posted on the blog. Both were Internet cafes, one on Syngrou Avenue and one near Syntagma Square.

Press-gr is a news blog that hosts comments on politics, social and diplomatic issues by users who are frequently anonymous and often use abusive language. The blog is hosted by Web search giant Google, which has agreed to help Greek authorities with their enquiries.

UPDATE > March 1, 2008 >>> No threat to blogs, says PM

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis denied yesterday opposition accusations that the government is seeking to clamp down on the freedom of Internet users in the wake of a probe into a news blog that prompted defamation suits from government politicians.

PASOK leader George Papandreou accused the government of «viewing every young person with a computer as a potentially dangerous blogger» after the Justice Ministry announced plans this week to give authorities greater powers to look into possible offenses conducted online.

Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) politician Nikos Voutsis said the government was in danger of «throwing the baby out with the bath water.» «We must not develop a prosecutor’s culture with regard to blogs,» said Voutsis.

Karamanlis said that the government has no intention of reining in the freedom of bloggers to express themselves and that Greece is simply adopting international regulations that it is obliged to make part of its legal framework.

Police imposter rapes 9-year-old schoolgirl November 13, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Police & Crime.
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Police have arrested a 45-year-old man accused of raping a 9-year-old girl in Exarchia, central Athens, last week, authorities said yesterday.

The suspect is believed to have followed the girl home on Thursday after pretending to be a law officer. Upon entering the girl’s house, he allegedly raped her before stealing money and jewelry on the premises. The girl’s parents were absent when the incident took place, according to police, who managed to track down the man shortly afterwards. Police added that the suspect has been connected to similiar incidents in the past.

Separately, a 30-year-old foreign national was arrested yesterday after allegedly raping a woman on Friday night after she left an Athens nightspot. The suspect, along with a second man that police are still looking for, allegedly sexually assaulted the woman, aged 30.