Criminal Afghan gangs appear to be dominating criminal activity in Athens, with more arrests following at least two murders, five attempts and three cases of extortion reported Athens News.
According to the media outlet, citing police sources, on March 24 authorities 'conducted an operation in two Athenian districts – Kipseli and Agios Panteleimonas. As a result, 9 members of criminal organizations were arrested, and 10 more people appear in the materials of the criminal case. Those arrested were charged with two murders, five attempted murders, and five cases of extortion. All of them were delivered to the prosecutor’s office of Athens.'
'The ringleaders did not share “spheres of influence” with each other and went so far as to kill each other with the sole purpose of gaining the upper hand and seizing the reins of power in the center of Athens. The gangs imposed tribute on the owners of the shops located there, regularly receiving various amounts, says cnn.gr. Considerable income came from illegal migration. It is believed that the Afghans are one of the main suppliers of heroin to Greece, actively competing in this with the Pakistanis.'
Investigators believe there were at least nine members in the first group. Among them is a man known as “Hardy” from Kabul, who is accused of murder in 2018. The second group also consisted of at least 10 people, their leader is Ibn Khatab, also known as “Mujib”.
First kill which involved the gangs, occurred in June 2018, when five of their members, including the so-called “Hardy”, after a fight in Victoria Square, fatally stabbed a 26-year-old Algerian with a sharp object.
Next kill was recorded on Saturday, February 26, shortly after 2:00 pm. At least three members of the second gang, who were driving in Opel cars along Kefalonias Street, drove up to a compatriot. One of them drew a pistol and shot him twice. One bullet hit the man in the thigh, as a result of which he ended up in the hospital a little later.
'To date, at least three cases have been reported. assassination attempts in which gang members are involved. The first of these occurred on November 13, 2021 in Patissia. It is known that the members of the first gang shot, wounding in the stomach and shins two men from Afghanistan from whom they extorted money.
'On January 25, 2022, shortly after 5 p.m., in Kipseli again, members of the first group attacked one of their compatriots with a sharp object (possibly a knife) and wounded him in the neck, back and arm.
'Another attack was recorded a few days ago, on March 19, 2022, when a member of the second group shot and killed a 17-year-old man from Lebanon. In this case, too, there was blackmail demanding money, and when the victim refused, she was shot dead.
'A 60-year-old store worker in Agios Nikolaos Square was the victim of blackmail on January 21, 2022, when he received a call from one of the members of the second gang and demanded to pay him 3,000 euros, in Otherwise, his life will be in danger. A few days after the threats, he was “visited” by a member of the gang, who at first threatened him with a gun and then took 500 euros.
'Late last month, a 35-year-old Afghan became the victim of a brutal beating in a tavern in Nea Ionia. One of the gang members cracked a man’s skull when he refused to give them money. The victim was taken to Evangelismos hospital. It is noteworthy that after being discharged from the hospital, the bandit again found the victim, saying to him: “This time you escaped death, but next time I’ll kill you."