Four held for casino van heist - Wednesday 13th of December 2006

Four men charged in connection with the –1.6 million holdup in September of an armored van at a casino on Mount Parnitha, north of Athens, were yesterday remanded in custody after testifying before an investigating magistrate.

The 38-year-old former air force officer believed to have orchestrated the heist has been charged with money laundering as well as forming a criminal gang, theft and weapons possession – the charges faced by the other three suspects.

The suspected ringleader reportedly expressed his regret for his actions, claiming to have resorted to the robbery after falling victim to loan sharks. He has also allegedly promised to return what is left of his –380,000 cut from the robbery’s proceeds.

Meanwhile, police revealed that a search of a safe belonging to the former air force officer unearthed a gun, believed to have been stolen in August from a journalist’s car in Haidari. Officers believe the gun had been used by one of another four suspects who are thought to have assisted with the raid and are also being sought.

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