Imam kidnapping solved, 10 foreign nationals arrested

Athens police on Thursday said they have solved a January 30 abduction of a 34-year-old Imam and a 20-year-old friend of his from Pakistan, naming the perpetrators as a large ring of Pakistanis that has been broken up, while investigations are continuing to see if the ring has been involved in other abductions of foreign nationals.

Police said the Imam and 20-year-old Pakistani man were abducted by the ring on January 30 in the Egaleo district of Athens and taken to a farm building in Egio, where the two captives were beaten repeatedly. The ring also demanded 5,000 euros ransom each from the families of the captives, which was put up by the Imam's brother, who permanently resides in London.

But the ring did not release the captives and asked for more ransom.

Attica security police, who had been informed of the kidnappings, located the abductors' hideout and raided it on Wednesday, accompanied by a prosecutor, arresting 10 Pakistani nationals and releasing the victims.

Police found and confiscated from the farmhouse 7,500 euros in cash, a large number of cell phones, the wooden boards with which the ring members beat the Imam and 20-year-old Pakistani captive, the ropes used to tie up the captives, and a receipt from an electronic money transaction for the ransoms sent by the Imam's brother from London.

The 10 detainees have been brought to Athens and are due to appear before a public prosecutor.




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