In the “faca” spiral for adulterated fuels and drinks “bobes” – 20 arrests

In the dismantling of a spiral that, through a complex process, the Greek police were distorting and proceeding. According to the police announcement, the members of the spiral imported and produced chemical products to distort fuel, traded adulterated fuel and illegally imported ethyl alcohol to distort drinks. For the case 20 members of the organization were arrested, including the alleged leader, and 10 more members have been identified and sought. At their expense a case-file was formed for – where appropriate criminal organisation, smuggling of liquid fuels and ethyl alcohol, money laundering from criminal activities, acceptance and disposal of crime products, as well as for violation of arms laws, competition and regulation rules on the product market. In particular, according to the Police, the establishment of a structured and ongoing criminal organisation, the members of which were active in the systematic import from Bulgaria of chemicals, for the purpose of fraudulent fuel and ethyl alcohol, without paying taxes and duties. At the same time, taking advantage of the legal operation of a disinfectant company, they also operated an illegal chemical-solvent factory suitable for fuel distortion. To this end, the alleged leader of the criminal organization had formed three independent subgroups, with appropriate infrastructure and technical equipment. Of these two were involved in channelling chemical solvents into liquid fuel stations, either through their import from Bulgaria or operating the illegal production plant, while the third was in the transport of smuggled ethyl alcohol into water-water-watering stations, through which they were then shipped to the domestic market for consumption. The members of the sub-groups had specific roles, such as: • the search for chemical solvents, storage spaces and trucks; • the consultation with members of Bulgaria’s criminal organisation on the timing and manner of import of chemical solvents, as well as subsequent transport and storage; • the finding and ordering of raw materials for the production of chemical solvents; • the supervision of the process of producing and transporting solvents; and • the supply and movement of smuggled ethyl alcohol in undertakings trading in alcoholic beverages. As a key area for their activities they used a car park in Aspropyrgos, where both the amounts of ethyl alcohol and the amounts of chemical solvents and contaminated fuels ended. Police findings The spiral used two storage spaces in Western Attica, to which the chemical solvents from Bulgaria initially arrived and then ended up in the parking lot, where the fuel was tampered with. At the same time, in another place there was a company seat, which, due to its activity, was supplied with all the necessary chemicals for the production of illegal chemical solvents, which immediately ended up in the same parking area, in order to be supplied with liquid fuel tankers at the stations. With regard to the supply and distribution of ethyl alcohol, they operated the network maintained by the alleged leader for the smuggling of fuel and the quantities were stored in the same facilities, from which they were received by a member of the third sub-group, either by his own vehicle or by vehicles from a rental company, in order to then be delivered to customers who were watering and marketing alcoholic beverages. For the degradation of the criminal organisation, a targeted police operation took place on Tuesday night (5.3.2024), after the members of the organization had produced thirty tons of chemical solvents, the transport of these by truck to the parking lot in Aspropyrgos and the transfer of chemical solvents to a tanker, which then went to a liquid fuel station in Athens. During the operation, investigations were carried out at 6 liquid fuel stations, 1 vehicle parking, 7 houses, 2 warehouses, 1 company producing disinfectants and wholesale chemicals for industrial use, 1 company of wholesale drinks and 2 liquors. From these researches, they were found and seized: • 85,265 litres of chemical solvents, • 12,101 litres of unleaded petrol without legal documentation, • 5,762 litres of ethyl alcohol, • 746 litres of other alcoholic liquids, • 12 J.C.E., of which 6 were employed, while 3 will be sent for laboratory examination to the Criminal Investigation Directorate, • 4 J.C. vans, • 2 tankers, • 4 shotguns, • 8 mobile phones and • the sum of EUR 78,955 . According to ELAS, the quantities of illegal chemical solvents traded from the first sub-group amount to 111 tonnes and from the second to 150 tonnes, while the duties and other charges withheld by the State, from both the seized and the quantities of chemical solvents, ethyl alcohol and other alcoholic beverages exceed EUR 1,200. Arrested persons, with the file formed against them, were taken to the competent prosecutor and referred to an investigator. It is recalled that citizens can communicate, anonymously or surnamely, at the telephone number 11012 or at the web portal of the Greek State ( ‘Complaint on financial crimes’ means to provide information or to denounce illegal and arbitrary actions or activities against the economic, public property sector, as well as social and insurance welfare and rights.