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Athens News Agency: News in English, 08-08-21

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

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Industrial chief's abductors nabbed

  • [01] Industrial chief's abductors nabbed

    Greece's most wanted criminal Vassilis Paleokostas, the convict who escaped a high-security prison in June 2006 in a Hollywood-style operation by helicopter, was apprehended late Wednesday night in Thessaloniki, northern Greece, and has been named by police as the mastermind of the abduction two months ago of then Federation of Industries of Northern Greece (SBBE) president and Alumil aluminum industry CEO George Mylonas outside Thessaloniki.

    Police announced that Paleokostas was arrested in a house in the area of Souroti, together with an accomplice. Two other members of the kidnapping ring were arrested earlier Wednesday in Thessaloniki and in Chania, on the island of Crete, earlier in the day, while a fourth ring member was already in prison serving time for other crimes.

    The accomplice arrested with Paleokostas in Thessaloniki has a police record in connection with bank robberies.

    Thessaloniki police officials were due to make more detailed announcements on Thursday.

    A fifth member of the Paleokostas gang, an escaped convict believed to be one of the organizers of the helicopter escape by Vassilis Paleokostas, was also apprehended by police on Monday morning in Agrinio, central eastern Greece.

    Vassilis Paleokostas and an Albanian convict Alket Rizaj were spirited away by helicopter on June 4, 2006 from the courtyard of Korydallos prison near Piraeus, in a spectacular operation masterminded by Paleokostas' brother Nikos, a fugitive from justice. After picking up the two at Korydallos jail, the helicopter dropped them off near a cemetery not far from the prison. The two escaped convicts then drove off on motorcycles, according to witnesses. Police said at the time that the two prisoners escaped with the help of two accomplices who had hired the sight-seeing helicopter from the southern coastal suburb of Aghios Kosmas, and then threatened the helicopter's pilot with a pistol and a hand grenade, forcing him to land in the prison yard before taking the two inmates.

    The 27-year-old escaped convict arrested on Monday had also been incarcerated at Korydallos prison before he escaped. Rizaj was captured three months after the escape in the coastal village of Prodromos in Viotia prefecture, while fugitive Nikos Paleokostas was arrested a few weeks afterwards near Livadia, also in Viotia prefecture, after years of eluding police capture.

    According to initial reports, police believe Vassilis Paleokostas to be behind the abduction of SBBE president Mylonas by unidentified gunmen shortly before midnight on June 9 as he was returning to his home in the Panorama residential district outside Thessaloniki, and was released two weeks later after an unspecified ransom was paid by his family.

    Mylonas, 49, the owner, president and CEO of the Athens-listed Alumil aluminum constructions industry and the Alumil Group of companies, with major investments in Greece and abroad, resigned from the helm of SBBE a few days after his release.

    Caption: ANA-MPA file photo of escaped convict Vassilis Paleokostas, who was apprehended in northern Greece on June 20 and is believed to have masterminded the June 2008 abduction of Northern Greece Industry Federation chief George Mylonas.

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