Ter­ror funds scru­ti­nized

Guer­ril­las raised some 10 mln eu­ros from bank jobs; au­thor­i­ties to probe ac­counts

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Guer­rilla or­ga­ni­za­tions in Greece have amassed an es­ti­mated 10 mil­lion eu­ros over the years, chiefly through armed rob­beries that fi­nance their ac­tiv­i­ties, ac­cord­ing to po­lice sources who say th­ese re­serves are more than ad­e­quate to sup­ply mem­bers of the var­i­ous groups with so­phis­ti­cated weapons and ex­plo­sives.

Ac­cord­ing to po­lice, Nikos Mazi­o­tis, the con­victed leader of Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle who has been un­ac­counted for since the sum­mer of 2012, is be­lieved to have par­tic­i­pated in at least five armed bank raids that net­ted more than 1.5 mil­lion eu­ros for his or­ga­ni­za­tion. Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Strug­gle was thought to have been dis­man­tled fol­low­ing sev­eral ar­rests and con­vic­tions of sus­pected mem­bers in­clud­ing Mazi­o­tis and his girl­friend Pana­giota Roupa. But fears have resurged of Mazi­o­tis’s pos­si­ble in­volve­ment in at­tacks claimed by new or­ga­ni­za­tions over the past two years.

Greece’s dead­li­est ter­ror­ist group, Novem­ber 17, which was dis­banded in 2002, also fi­nanced its ac­tiv­i­ties through bank rob­beries.

Po­lice be­lieve that mem­bers of the Con­spir­acy of the Cells of Fire also par­tic­i­pated in armed raids on banks. Con­victed mem­bers of that group met on a reg­u­lar ba­sis at At­tica’s Ko­ry­dal­los Prison with N17’s Christodou­los Xeros who has been at large since ab­scond­ing dur­ing a fur­lough ear­lier this month.

Supreme Court prose­cu­tor Efterpi Koutza­mani is to de­cide this week on the fate of two fel­low pros­e­cu­tors who sat on the ju­di­cial coun­cil that ap­proved seven fur­loughs for Xeros who was was serv­ing mul­ti­ple life terms.

As fears mount of a pos­si­ble high-level ter­ror­ist at­tack, au­thor­i­ties are ex­pected to seek ac­cess to the bank ac­counts of in­di­vid­u­als be­lieved to have helped fi­nance the ac­tiv­i­ties of the coun­try’s guer­rilla groups.

Vas­silis Pa­le­o­costas, the se­rial rob­ber best known for two dra­matic he­li­copter es­capes from Ko­ry­dal­los Prison, is be­lieved to have helped fund guer­rilla or­ga­ni­za­tions, Kathimerini un­der­stands.

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