A Pakistani gang operating in the city of Arta in northwestern Greece, kidnapped and tortured 14 of their compatriots blackmailing the captives’ families for ransom money.
The gang had abducted the victims, all illegal immigrants, from the cities of Livadia and Thebes and held them prisoners in a defunct poultry farm in the wider area of Arta, where they were cruelly tortured and subjected to psychological violence to force them to persuade their relatives in their homeland to pay ransom for their release.
The gang was dismantled after a special operation by the Arta Police Department forces, with the aid of the Special anti-terrorist unit (EKAM) and the Preveza Special Police team OPKE).
The 14 captives were released after the law enforcement agencies raided the farm and released the abductees who were in bad condition.
Five of the seven Pakistani kidnappers, aged 21, 24, 21, 28, 20, 46 and 27, acted as “guards” of the prisoners, were arrested early Monday, as well as the 66-year-old Greek owner of the facility. The remaining two, who police were the leaders of the ring, were arrested in Anesa Arta.
The victims, who were all illegal immigrants, had paid substantial sums of money to human traffickers to enter Greece. Upon their arrival, the perpetrators were brutally abused and suffered serious bodily harm, as all their valuables and remaining money were stolen from them before being led to the farm. The kidnappers demanded sums of 1,500 to 10,000 euros from their relatives.
Police confiscated a pistol with 10 9mm cartridges on the premises, as well as a knife, a switchblade, jewellery, 1,009.4 euros, 300 Pakistani rupees, 100 Turkish pounds and one Saudi Riyal, a multitude of mobiles, various documents, and three cars.
A criminal file was drawn against the gang, which are charged forming a criminal organisation, extortion, kidnapping, illegal transportation and processing of aliens within the country, possession of illegal arms and bodily harm. They will be taken before the Prosecutor of First Instance in Arta, along with the 66-year-old Greek accused of acting as an accomplice.
Police are continuing their investigation to ascertain if there are more victims or members of the gang at large.