Po­lice free 34 mi­grants held in Vic­to­ria Square flat

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Po­lice have freed 34 mi­grants from Afghanistan, in­clud­ing five women and 12 chil­dren, who were be­ing held hostage in an apart­ment near Vic­to­ria Square, in cen­tral Athens. A 34-year-old Afghan, al­legedly a mem­ber of an ex­tor­tion gang, has been ar­rested by po­lice who were also look­ing for another five mem­bers, in­clud­ing an Egyp­tian na­tional. The gang is be­lieved to have ap­proached Afghan mi­grants, who have been camp­ing in the square af­ter ar­riv­ing from the eastern Aegean is­lands, of­fer­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion, bus tick­ets and forged doc­u­ments. Af­ter be­ing lured into the apart­ment, the vic­tims said they faced vi­o­lence and con­fine­ment un­less they bought their way out. Af­ter ar­rest­ing the 34-year-old, po­lice found him in pos­ses­sion of 1,720 eu­ros, two cell phones, sev­eral flight and coach tick­ets, and asy­lum doc­u­ments is­sued by Ger­man author­i­ties. The sus­pect was ex­pected to face a pros­e­cu­tor. It was not made known how long the 34 mi­grants had been held cap­tive.

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