Three Georgian nationals arrested earlier this week on charges of belonging to a criminal organization set up by a fellow Georgian who is currently serving a 14-year sentence were remanded in pretrial custody by a Thessaloniki prosecutor on Friday. A fourth suspect, aged 65 and accused of harboring a criminal, among other charges, was granted conditional release.

Investigators believe that the four men have links to Georgian criminal mastermind Lasha Susanasvili (photo), aged 52, who has been custody in Greece since January 2012 after being arrested on an international warrant issued by Spanish authorities.

One of the four, a 37-year-old identified by his initials, D.M., is believed to have succeeded Susanasvili as head of the organization, which controlled gangs of armed robbers and ran an arms-smuggling racket.