Blackmail ring in Greece: The apologies of the accused officials have begun

They are accused of being a criminal organization that extorted shopkeepers

kiklomekviastonellada Greece, Extortion ring

The first eight accused municipal police officers and civil servants, who are accused of a criminal organization that extorted shopkeepers in the center of Athens, have been apologizing to the investigative authorities since the morning.

A total of 14 people were arrested for the case, while the remaining six defendants were given a deadline to plead guilty tomorrow.

Criminal proceedings were brought against him for seven felonies and two misdemeanors, namely, among other things, they are accused of directing, forming and joining a criminal organization, extortion by threat and harming a business by profession jointly in series and in succession, bribing an employee by profession by follow-up and false certification over 120.000 euros.

As part of the investigation, it was established that the employees, at least since January 2023, were blackmailing restaurant owners in the center of Athens, in order to give them money and to avoid the confirmation of violations by the municipal police.

The dialogues of the circuit

In the meantime, the large file of the Internal Affairs that revealed the big corruption ring includes dialogues of the defendants recorded by the Greek police.

The members of the ring demanded extortionate money from shopkeepers not to do checks and a total of 14 employees are involved in the case.

A female public servant played a central role, where in fact, in a recorded dialogue, she allegedly calls a shopkeeper to ask him for the money he must give to the ring.

Accused: Have you left them for me?
Shopkeeper: Who are we talking about now? Remind me.
Defendant: 1.000. We are on the 22nd of the month.
Shopkeeper: 22 or 25 did we say?
Accused: 22. 22 we said give me the first ones. Wait until I tell you the dates. Well, 22 and 29 the rest.
Shopkeeper: Is that the 1.000 for Health? Yeah, okay, okay! 1.000 today and 1.200 at the end of the month. Okay, okay, I'll leave it to you.

The authorities have identified more than 400.000 euros, while checks for violations were often carried out in front of the public and the shop owner was always notified:

Accused: I want someone to open the door for me at 1.30 because I will come with the Health Department for a check-up.
Shopkeeper: Yeah, okay.
Accused: And in order to approve them, the Health Department passes by and the Municipal Police also asks them for paper.
Shopkeeper: Oh, good, Kostas will be there. What should I say to him? Clear anything? Do anything?
Accused: Since we pay them, what should they clean? If we weren't paying them, I'd tell you.
Shopkeeper: Yeah, okay.

In case the owners of the shops did not accept the protection provided by the criminal organization, they received threats that they would start a pogrom of checks and they would be assured of large fines.