The Greek police's electronics crime squad has averted 67 suicides that had been pre-announced in Internet chat rooms since the beginning of the year, a police announcement said on Wednesday.
Police said the people were aged 13 to 48, and some of them, mainly minors, had taken pills immediately after announcing their intentions on the Internet, but were saved because police 'hackers' managed to trace them quickly.
Police said that one surprising motive behind several of the intended suicides among both minors and adults were on-line games. More specifically, after being blocked from games by the central administrator after violating the rules of the game, some of the intended suicides had stated on the web that they would take their lives if the were not immediately reinstated in the game.
A police announcement also said that other Internet users, including a priest, had been instrumental in spotting intended suicides and alerting the electronic crimes squad of such messages they had seen.
In fact, the announcement added, the electronics crime division had received a call from the priest about 10 days ago that, during an 'online confession' via Skype, the man who was "confessing" had expressed his intention to commit suicide to personal problems, which was confirmed by a digital investigation.
In every instance, the assistance of psychologists was sought to deal with the incidents, police said.