Greek police arrested the 51-year-old owner of the pawn shop chain “Richardos” and charged him for gold smuggling.
The police allege that the suspect was the leading figure in one of two gangs of gold smugglers recently dismantled by police and was remanded in custody after the conclusion of his testimony to the examining magistrate.
The suspect testified for two hours and it was decided that he would be held in custody following the unanimous decision of the prosecutor and the corruption magistrate.
The pawn-shop owner, who starred in his own televised advertisements, is accused of collecting large quantities of gold from his own and other pawn shops and then smuggling out to Turkey and other countries.
The alleged members of the two gangs, 63 in total, are facing a series of serious criminal charges, including four felonies, and will have to answer to charges drawn up by the police after a lengthy surveillance operation lasting many months.
The charges against them include that of forming a criminal organisation, smuggling, money laundering and usury. They also face misdemeanour charges of violating drugs legislation, weapons law, fencing and forgery.