SERRES, Greece – Police in the northern Greek city of Serres said they will charge seven people with operating an unlawful care home for the elderly where two residents died and the accused said to have tried to cover it up.
No one was named, usual in Greece where data privacy laws generally prohibit identifying suspects and sometimes even those convicted of crime as there is no general public right to know.
The case file implicates three people who operated the illegal nursing home, two doctors and two funeral home directors and another six people were also linked to their case, said Kathimerini, but their role not detailed.
Besides operating without a license, police said that the staff claimed that the two people who died – said because they didn’t receive any medical care- had died elsewhere. The facility claimed to care for those with mobility problems.
The suspects face a line of charges, from running a criminal gang and narcotics violations to issuing and using false medical certificates but it wasn’t said when or if they will appear in court.
In February, police on Crete arrested seven people after the deaths of dozens of people in a private nursing home in Hania, the accused including the owner and her daughter, two doctors and three nurses and administrative staff, facing charges of forming a criminal organization, the paper said then.
There’s been no report since what happened despite a case file outlining at least 30 homicides and eight cases of attempted homicide from 2009-21 with no indication why it went on so long before being discovered.
Other charges included fraud, forgery, the issuing of false medical certificates, and breach of duty with police saying that the death toll from neglect could be higher but said they had trouble finding evidence to prosecute the accused.
The case file said that the home allocated 55 cents a day for residents’ food, which rarely included meat or fruit, said milk was watered downs and some patients choking from force-feedings or fed leftover food or animal intestines.
Residents were rarely washed and their clothing rarely cleaned while the towels and razors they used were shared and some, the paper said, had to wear used diapers.
Searches in the homes of the arrested found 105,000 euros ($112,830) in cash and jewelry that police reportedly said came from criminal activity. An investigation into the home was launched in April 2021 following complaints of a lack of care.