Youth crime up as Pakistani drugs find their way into Greece

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Greek police have reported that youth gangs, comprising of Greeks, Albanians, Georgians Egyptians and Pakistanis, are responsible for a spate of thefts, robberies and the trafficking of drugs, as well as attacks or fights with the use of sharp objects.

According to the report, as seen by To Vima, there about 16 active youth gangs with about 160-180 members in Attica. These are groups with criminal activity that are increasing daily and are expected to further escalate their activity in the coming months and with the new school year.

Only in the last few days, arrests of minors who were attacking their peers have been made in Glyfada, Pallini, Agia Varvara, Acropolis and Kaisariani.

Greek police also said about 60-70 minors are infesting tourist area and attacking unsuspecting people.

As noted, "five groups of minors are active in the area of ​​Acropolis and Monastiraki, consisting of at least 12 people each. These gangs include Greeks, Albanians, Georgians, Egyptians and Pakistanis who participate in thefts, robberies, drug trafficking and knife fights."

"At the beginning of May, the Athens Security Sub-Directorate dismantled multi-member gangs with the participation of 27 young people, mostly minors, who had committed 13 robberies in the Acropolis area against people, preferably other minors.

"There were 31 thefts, mainly in the same area but also in Kallithea, Nea Smyrni and Paleo Faliro."

As noted in the report, "when committing the robberies, they used particular cruelty and removed objects from their victims using physical violence and the threat of a knife, in all cases."

Also in the same document, it is noted that in Kallithea and Moschato, three gangs of minors are active, each with approximately eight members and consisting Georgians and Albanians, with a main interest in thefts, robberies and drug trafficking.

It is noted that last year in August, a case was made against six foreigners, mostly minors, for participating in a gang that committed thefts from houses and cars in Kallithea and Acropolis.

Finally, in the document there is an extensive reference to two groups of minors, with the participation in each of them of at least seven Greeks, Albanians and Georgians who are active in thefts, robberies, bloody fights, as well as drug trafficking and who plague Dafni and Ilioupoli.

It is noted that in June 2021, three of the members of a multi-member gang of minors were arrested who had taken part in five robberies against nine minors, aged 13-16, with their main area of ​​action being the sports field in Ilioupoli.

Juvenile crime figures are staggering. In 2021, minors killed 12 people, were accused of 26 rapes (more than two each month), caused 422 bodily harms (about one every 20 hours and a 14% increase compared to the previous year) and have proceeded with 213 verbal abuses, while being accused 118 times for non-compliance, mainly in police checks.

This comes as another report found that a fisherman in the suburban locality of Landhi Town in Karachi, Pakistan, found that "Procuring drugs here is as easy as getting a bottle of water."

Legend has it that residents of Rehri Goth started abusing drugs right after the victory of a foreign Muslim army against a ruling family, according to Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper.

Others say the population boom, and infrastructure development in the 1970s — when the access to and from the city became better — led to the arrival of drug peddlers. Now, they openly sell drugs like crystal meth and heroin.

Scenes of women and minors lying on street corners, either injecting themselves with needles or smoking substances or simply under the influence are commonplace in the fishing neighbourhood of Rehri Goth.

“[Procuring drugs] here is as easy as getting a bottle of water,” a local fisherman was quoted as saying by the Pakistani newspaper.

Some 150 people have died in Rehri Goth during the past few months because of self-injecting, according to a local activist who campaigns against drug abuse.

“The day has just started, markets are open and all you can see around is people selling and buying drugs,” Salam Mallah told Dawn. “Is this normal? Drugs are present in other areas of the city too, but are they as open as they are here?”

“The fishermen here barely make ends meet, drinking water is contaminated, and the state of schooling is abysmal. But the easy accessibility of drugs has become a life and death issue for us.”

With such prevalence of drugs in Pakistan, as well as in neighbouring Afghanistan, a police source told Greek City Times that much of the current narcotics, particularly heroin and crystal meth, is making its way to Greece from Afghanistan and Pakistan.

This is organised by the Afghan and Pakistani community in Athens, who use their networks in their home countries to smuggle drugs via Iran and Turkey before hitting the streets of Athens, Thessaloniki and elsewhere.

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