He had earlier made a failed attempt to escape along with five other prisoners, among whom there was another convict who participated in the “Conspiracy of the Cores of Fire”. When the specific prisoners did not manage to escape, they returned to the visiting hall at the time when 25 visitors were present.
Initial information indicates that the weapon came into his possession during visiting hours. Until now, it has yet to be determined if the remaining hostages are employees or prison visitors.
A strong police force has been deployed on the spot, along with negotiators, while the entire prison is surrounded by Rapid Action Patrol and riot police.
The prosecutor of prisons and the Justice Secretary George Petalotis are on site.
Panagiotis Vlastos was the central figure of the so-called “crime syndicate” which allegedly committed the kidnapping of shipping magnate Pericles Panagopoulos.