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Athens News Agency: News in English, 09-09-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Attica police bust human trafficking ring
  • [02] ANA-MPA donates relief to unemployed journalists in lieu of TIF pavilion
  • [03] Four arrested in Exarchia violence
  • [04] Fire destroys abandoned building in downtown Athens

  • [01] Attica police bust human trafficking ring

    The Attica Aliens department on Friday announced the bust of a ring of human traffickers that had kept nine illegal immigrants imprisoned in an underground garage in Menidi for five months in order to force their families to pay additional money for bringing them to Greece.

    The unlucky victims, eight from Pakistan and one from Bangladesh, were subjected to daily beatings, sexual abuse and threats that they would be killed unless their families paid at least 2,000-4,000 euros more than the original sum of 7,000 euros that had been agreed on.

    The case was uncovered on Thursday afternoon when Attica police arrested five members of the ring, while another four are still being sought.

    The suspects placed under arrest include four Greek nationals, two men aged 57 and 36 years old, respectively, and two women aged 55 and 33 years old, and a 28-year-old Iraqi. Along with the four now sought by police, the ring picked up illegal immigrants arriving by boat from Turkey and shut them up in various houses around Attica, demanding money for their release.

    The nine people imprisoned in the garage had arrived five months earlier in a private truck and were arrested for illegally entering Greece. All the parties arrested were led before a public prosecutor on Friday.

    [02] ANA-MPA donates relief to unemployed journalists in lieu of TIF pavilion

    ANA-MPA, Greece's national news agency, has decided not to host a pavilion at this year's 74th Thessaloniki International Fair (TIF) and to donate the money instead to unemployed journalists.

    A check for 10,000 euros from ANA-MPA was on Friday presented to the board of the Macedonia-Thrace Union of Journalists (ESIEM-TH) by deputy interior minister for media issues Constantine Gioulekas,.

    "I am pleased that my term in office is ending with this symbolic but also substantive gesture, boosting the media sector which has not remained untouched by the (global) financial crisis," Gioulekas said.

    ESIEM-TH president Makis Voitsidis thanked both Gioulekas and ANA-MPA director general George Tambakopoulos, who accompanied the deputy minister to the ESIEM-TH offices.

    [03] Four arrested in Exarchia violence

    Four people were arrested at dawn Friday in the Exarchia district of downtown Athens, for involvement in an attack on police officers.

    The four, aged between 21 and 29, were part of a group of some 50 individuals who made repeated attacks on a MAT riot police team near the former headquarters of main opposition PASOK party on Harilou Trikoupi street that started at 1:40 a.m..

    The group made repeated attacks with home-made firebombs (molotov cocktails), bottles, rocks and other objects against the MAT team, injuring three police officers and causing damage to two police cars.

    The police responded with tear gas, after which the group of attackers set fire to garbage dumpsters they had piled up as road blocks on surrounding streets.

    Two of the detainees, who were taken in for questioning at security police headquarters, claimed they had been injured during the disturbances and were taken to hospital. One of the two was hospitalised while the second detainee was returned to the police lock-up facility after medical examinations were conducted.

    [04] Fire destroys abandoned building in downtown Athens

    An abandoned three-storey building went up in flames at dawn Friday off Omonia Square in central Athens, attributed to negligence possibly by drug users.

    According to fire department officials, the fire that erupted quickly assumed immense proportions and totally destroyed the building, while it also spread to a shop in an adjacent building.

    More than 30 firefighters with 10 fire engines battled the blaze, and rescued three drug users who had taken shelter in the abandoned building. The three were taken to hospital with respiratory problems.

    Also, two firemen were injured during the operation, and were taken to a nearby military hospital.

    The blaze was finally contained at 8:45 a.m., while the causes of the fire were being investigated.

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