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The hunt for the Albanian recidivist continues

22 July 2013 / 15:07:55  GRReporter
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The major police action to capture Ilir Koupa, aged 27, a runaway from the prison in Trikala, is continuing. Koupa is one of the last surviving or not apprehended criminals from the group of Albanian recidivists, who have been hiding from the authorities since spring, looking for ways to return to their home country.

Koupa was wounded during the shooting on Sunday, when one of the inveterate criminals of the group, namely Marian Kola, aged 37, was killed. Skai TV reports that, in the early hours on Monday, the investigating teams found Ilir Koupa’s body armour vest in the woods, a little further away from where Kola had died. According to Mega TV, there is no blood on the vest but it is not known whether the Albanian is wounded in the leg or not.

The police are investigating an area of 20 km in diameter around the village of Vrosina where the two Albanians opened fire against the authorities yesterday. The investigators suggest that the Albanian recidivist is now left with only one Kalashnikov gun and several cartridges. According to the Greek media, his chances of reaching the Albanian border are significantly lower mainly due to the closer police ring.

The route of the criminals suggests that Kola and Koupa were trying to reach the villages of Lista and Lia which are close to the border with Albania. The police have blocked off the roads leading to these villages and the surrounding area, and their teams are searching the region. According to the police, the two fugitives have found shelter and food somewhere in the area and the police are now looking for possible accomplices who have helped them with provisions over the past days.

Meanwhile, the 25-year-old policeman from Larissa who was wounded on Sunday while neutralizing Marian Kola has undergone several hours of surgery at the hospital in Ioannina and will remain under observation during the next few days. His life is out of danger as reported from northern Greece, but his recovery period will be long.

Minister of Civil Protection Nikos Dendias states that, over the past four months, between 580 and 750 policemen have been constantly involved in the search for the criminal group, stressing that the reason for this situation lies in the longstanding neglect of the problems of the system of imprisonment institutions.

In relation to the increasing number of prison escapes and other incidents relating to the places of detention, new Minister of Justice Christos Athanasiou states, "It should be clear that the country is not an easy game. We are making great efforts to protect Greek society and this remains the first and main goal of our government."

Tags: Crime newsAlbaniansRecidivistsGreeceTrikala
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