A civil engineer believed to be behind a major property scam was arrested in Holargos, northeastern Athens, on Tuesday.

The 57-year-old, allegedly working with an appeals court judge, a first instance prosecutor, lawyers, tax officials, police officers and others, set up a series of bogus companies that would buy properties at rigged auctions.

There were 12 arrest warrants for the engineer and he had been convicted to 23 years in jail in his absence. He was found in possession of 33 mobile phones, 45 SIM cards, 15 company seals and numerous identity cards and driving permits.