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Mafia-style execution: Businessman shot, body found inside burning car

The charred body of well-known businessman Christos Gialias was found in a burning vehicle in the West Attica suburb of Mandra on Wednesday evening. A Kalashnikov weapon was also found inside the car. It is the second mafia-style execution since January 1, 2024.

It was neighbors who alarmed the police after hearing multiple shooting in the area.

Police and fire brigades rushed to the area only to find a vehicle in flames. After the fire extinction, officers found the body of the 59-year-old man inside it. The death ambush took place just 200 meters from the victim’s home.

According to media, the assassins fired at least 15 bullets at the man.

Citing police sources, media reported that victim Christos Gialias was gunned down by two assassins using an AK-47 Kalashnikov rifle, which they then threw into the car and torched it. They apparently set also a second car on fire, which they had used to arrive at the crime scene and fled using a motorcycle.

A neighbor and eyewitness told protothema.gr, that the victim had normally a body guard with him but not on Wednesday.

According to official reports, the businessman, owner of meat factories and with ties to soccer, reportedly had a criminal history and was involved with drugs, weapons and human/laborers trafficking.

Speaking to Mega TV, chairman of police union in south Attica Giorgos Kalliakmnanis said “there’s a lot of talking about loan sharking … he had a criminal record with a lot o issues, migrants’ trafficking, some weird stuff … he was investigated for weapons trafficking … he had a meat factory, various warehouses, trucking companies … They [investigators] are trying to see if the crime was a matter of personal difference with someone or execution of the ‘night’ scene. The gun thrown into the burning car refers rather to the second assumption.”

The police unionist confirmed that Gialias owned companies hiring and lending  workers, which apparently can refer to businesses run by his daughter thus  providing warehouse work services, with a huge clientele, facilities and a big number of employees.

Based on known information, Christos Gialias was the owner of the companies FARMA KATERINA, G&G, G-EXPRESS and BELLA GRECO. In addition to being a businessman in the field of meat trade, he was the president of the football team of Trikala from 2015 to 2017, while he was also the president of PAE Paneleussiniakos, newspaper avgi.gr and other media reported.

Worth noting that Gialias’ former wife was shot dead outside her home also in  Mandra in 2018. The crime was evaluated as a robbery, whereas the victim’s bag contained only one watch. The shooters were apprehended and sentenced, however, now authorities plan to reopen the case file and seek potential connections with the organized crime.

Gialias’ assassination took place just three weeks after the mafia-style execution of a gas station owner in Neos Kosmos district of Athens on January 14. No suspect has been arrested.

With mafia-style executions to have turned into a plaque in Greece, police investigates Gialias’ execution in all directions.

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