Two ex-classmates and one more person constituted the leadership who chose the targets and distributed roles to each within the group. “With this bird (machine gun) on their shoulders and the Golden Dawn T-shirt everyone will disappear”, they are heard saying in one of their conversations, despite the far-right organisation’s claims that they are not related to them anyways.
Ex-commandos, trained in heavy artillery usage, ruthless, extremely dangerous and in close contact with the far-right scene, they were pulling the strings of the multi-membered criminal organisation that was exposed in Kavala during the recent great operation of police’s Security Department in Thessaloniki the day before yesterday.
The leadership of the group was the one that opened fire with Kalashnikov assault rifles against police officers and also against a police station during the ‘double attack’ in Rodolivos, Serres and Keramoti, Kavala, last week. The group has also conducted illegal operations in Xanthi and Thessaloniki.
One of them is even heard saying – in a discussion that has been recorded by the Police – that “with that bird (machine gun) on the shoulder and a Golden Dawn T-shirt everyone will disappear”.
266,000 euros, 3,000 dollars, 19 guns, a grenade, detonators and police clothing are found among what the Police have confiscated from the group.
Those were the ones that chose the targets, recruited members and distributed the various roles within the organisation. A promising lawyer that although young was conducting an overly luxurious life that provoked the general public in Kavala, had taken over the legal support of the group, offering his advice for 500 euros per person and giving them directions regarding the continuation of their activities. A ‘special guard’ policeman from Kavala who serves his duty in Athens, provided the group with explosives and bullet-proof jackets (as a police officer he could buy the latter without causing any suspicion against him).
Even more, he has been recorded taking part in the conversations for a future ‘strike’ in Athens, by undertaking the task of showing the suitable routes. Among the arrested we can see one more person that has passed the exams for joining the police’s ‘special guards’ force, while one of the leaders of the group is the son of a retired police officer.
Until now 23 people have been arrested, aged 24 to 50. One more person is already in jail for committing other kind of felonies, while 7 people are wanted by the police for carrying guns, drug-dealing and forging money. The organisation has committed overall 5 bank robberies and 10 ATM robberies by using explosives, while a sole member of the organisation has alone robbed 4 banks. The total amount of money they snatched approaches 450,000 euros, of which only 266,000 euros and 3,000 dollars have been found. Also, the police found 19 guns (among them 4 Kalashnikovs, 1 machine gun, 6 rifles and 6 pistols) a grenade, detonators and police clothing, etc.
In one of their conversations recorded on the 16th of June, two days before the double ‘hit’ in the village Rodolivos near Serres and the village Keramoti near the town of Kavala, the leaders are heard talking with enthusiasm about their new possession, a gun, which is secretly mentioned in the conversation as a ‘bird’ or ‘motor’ that ‘sings’. Someone called ‘Babau’ is mentioned as the gun’s seller. The accused describe a test they have proceeded to, with this weapon which they also put on camera.
– “Ah we do have such a thing, don’t we? We also have a video with the bird singing. You should test the bird. If you see it, you’ll get mad”
– “What happened? Did he embrace it? Did he embrace it?”
– “I don’t believe that, I don’t believe it… Something like this” (laughter).
Later on, while still talking about their new weapon that ‘upgraded’ their operational level, they also refer to ‘Golden Dawn’.
– “We will f… them all. They will lose their sleep. That’s why he shot pictures with the bird and a video showing it singing, so he can show all these… Do you get it? With that bird on the shoulder and the T-shirt of Golden Dawn, everyone will disappear.”
Members of the group have been recorded in conversations referring to far-right organisations that take action in their area and expressing themselves positively regarding the Golden Dawn. One of the arrested has been accused in the past for attacking against anarchists. Golden Dawn issued a public announcement, denying any relation with the arrested.
[This report constitutes a compilation based on the following articles from the Greek press:
- Ethnos newspaper, ‘From the far-right the gang’s leaders’, 27/06/2012, found online at: http://www.ethnos.gr/article.asp?catid=22768&subid=2&pubid=63675975
- To Vima newspaper, ‘Two far-right extremists the leaders of the robbers’ group in Northern Greece’, 25/06/2012, http://www.tovima.gr/society/article/?aid=464080]