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Police are searching for terrorists involved in a bank robbery

15 August 2013 / 20:08:53  GRReporter
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A large-scale operation to apprehend the robbers of a branch of the National Bank of Greece in Velestino is being held by the Greek police who have been carrying out checks along the entire road network in the regions of Thessaly and Central Greece since last night.

Various media report that the attackers had managed to steal between 300 and 400 thousand euro.

According to the testimony of witnesses, it is known, at least so far, that four armed and masked men had robbed the bank. In perfect Greek, they told the manager of the bank branch to open the safe. Witnesses state that the four men were cold-blooded during the robbery and assured the customers of the bank that they would not be hurt in any way.

The robbers left the bank on foot after putting the money in plastic bags. Then they crossed the central pedestrian street in Velestino and got into a car, in which a fifth accomplice had probably been waiting for them. The attackers got into another car a little later and set fire to the first to cover up their tracks.

The police are investigating all scenarios, not excluding the possibility of the robbers being anarchists involved in the "guerrilla warfare in the city." The suspicions of the authorities are due mainly to the method of operation of the robbers which was similar to the bank robbery in the village of Philotas in the region of Florina and to the unsuccessful attempt in Velvendo near Kozani when the police had seized six members of the terrorist group "Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei".

The anti-terrorist service had immediately informed of the robbery as stated by an article in To Vima newspaper. According to the publication, the anti-terrorists found striking similarities between yesterday’s robbery and the one attempted on the island of Paros a year ago, during which a taxi driver was killed.

The evidence which provides the grounds for the assumption that the action was carried out by terrorists is due firstly to the fact that the robbers disguised with wigs and big sunglasses were armed with Glock pistols and secondly to the method of operation which was almost identical with the method used in the robberies mentioned previously. At least one of the robbers had told some of the customers of the bank that they should not be afraid, because "we want to rob the bank rather than ordinary citizens." Those captured in connection with the attempted robbery in Paros and the participants in other anarchist operations had used the same words.

According to eyewitness, two robbers were aged 22-25 years and the rest were probably 30 years old.

The investigation has revealed that, two months earlier, the robbers had stolen from the Athens suburb of Egaleo the car which they had burnt near Velestino. Furthermore, the burning of the car itself are known tactics of anarchists involved in bank robberies.

Tags: Crime newsBank robberyInvestigationTerrorists
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