Grandson of Greek shipping tycoon Stavros Niarchos detained in Congo

Greek American Nicolas Niarchos

The grandson of late legendary Greek shipping tycoon  Stavros Niarchos has been detained in Congo by the country's intelligence officials, reports Kathimerini newspaper.

According to the media outlet, a freelance magazine and newspaper journalist was detained after allegedly approaching armed groups in the country’s southeast, a senior government official said on Sunday.

A senior government official, who requested anonymity, confirmed to AFP that the Congolese intelligence agency ANR is holding Niarchos in Kinshasa.

The official said that the 33-year-old journalist, who writes for US magazines The Nation and The New Yorker, had made contact with armed groups, including the Bakata Katanga militia.

“The ANR took the journalist Nicolas Niarchos to Kinshasa to question him about his close contacts with armed groups, especially the Bakata Katanga,” the source added.

“He undertook moves without first notifying the authorities,” the official continued, arguing that the government “must be vigilant” after killing two UN officials in 2017. The United Nations had sent experts Michael Sharpe and Zaida Catalan to investigate violence in the region of Kasai, in central DRC, where they were kidnapped and murdered.

The Congolese official confirmed that the American consul had visited Niarchos, who may be released Monday as local authorities “have no interest in keeping him.”