Greek War on Organized Crime Targets Enforcers, Not Chiefs

ATHENS – A vaunted plan aimed at trying to break up Greece's underworld and stop violent assaults and killings has focused for now on those acccused of carrying out the acts, not who ordered them. 

A court gave heavy sentences to organized crime enforcers after a trial that lasted two years but despite their being convicted, no names were given.

The trial, said Kathimerini, concerned an investigation conducted in 2015 into three groups of enforcers who collected protection money from hundreds of shops in Attica, while they were also involved in drug trafficking and violence against sports officials.

Of the 26 defendants, 22 were given long prison sentences, with three of them receiving terms of 30 years. The court also refused a request by the lawyers of the three defendants for a suspended sentence, the paper said.

Citing legal sources not named, the report said the heavy penalties were seen as intending to send a message to mobsters, who weren't on trial, as the New Democracy government is trying to hold down organized gangs.

In April, noted investigative reporter Giorgos Karaivaz, who specialized in looking into the underworld – where he was said to have close contacts – and also reported on police corruption, was gunned down, the assailants not found and believed possibly to have been brought in from outside Greece, then fleeing.


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