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High-ranking Police Officer in Chania in custody for extortion

A high-ranking officer of the Greek Police in Chania, Crete, was remanded in custody following his seven-hour testimony to an investigator and a prosecutor. The 53-year-old officer, a native of Chania has been charged with felony charges such as repeated extortion, bribery of an employee, and breach of duty.

He was escorted by police officers to the prison, while his relatives and friends had gathered outside the court house to express their support, local zarpanews.gr reported.

Video: Supporters shout “Everything will be fine”

A day earlier, his 29-year-old son, also a policeman, was charged with “simple complicity in extortion.” following his confession to investigator, he was released under the restriction of not allowed to leave the country.

During his arrest on Sunday, the 53-year-old officer had reportedly gone so far as to threaten and insult the officers while they were handcuffing him, while he threatened also the present prosecutor.

The arrests followed a complaint filed by at least one extortion victim to Police Internal Affairs Department.

Previous complaints but officer cleared

According to media, there were previous complaints that the police officer, as the  commander, systematically blackmailed owners of canteens and other food stores in the area, demanding and receiving money so that they would not participate in auction procedures related to the rental of shop licenses.

The Greek Police had investigated the officer and acquitted him of any wrong doing in the period 2006-2007, newspaper tovima.gr reported.

An internal investigation against both police officers has been ordered by the Police Internal Affairs Department.

The internal investigation will focus, among others, on whether the officer had “high connections” within the Police and if there were cases where he “facilitated” favorable transfers of his colleagues against “compensation.”

How was the arrest made?

A special squad of police officers of the Internal Affairs Service carried out an on-site investigation on the island, in the context of which four victims of the officer were identified. A woman who filed a complaint and intended to give him 7,900 euros, took the pre-marked money and left it in the mailbox of his house, from where his relative picked it up. Internal Affairs police officers raided the house.

The remaining cases involved extorting a large amount of money from a solicitor, receiving a sum of money by a private person to delete a police fine and obstructing the repair of a property owned by an insurance agent. the 53-year-old was making reports to authorities about “illegal building works” with the aim to acquire the property at half price.

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