Michalis Lempidakis’ case: The Police Special Forces’ operation

2 October 2017
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More information about the actual police operation are being released continuously.

About three months ago, security officers had tracked down some of the perpetrators of the kidnapping of businessman Michalis Lempidakis in Crete, but they did not make any move until they were sure it was safe for the victim’s life.

The case, according to valid information, began to unfold last July. In a random check in Crete, three people on a car were found to have no cell phones as they had thrown them out moments before they were stopped. The incident caused suspicions to the experienced officers, as they knew Lebidakis abductors only communicated with disposable phones, sending messages with their demands and then just throwing them away.

Police officers managed to locate the hideout where the hostage was on Sunday and at noon on the same day, the EKAM was set up to rescue him, an operation that took place shortly after 7:30 am Monday.

The police had thermal cameras and micro-cameras scanning the building in order to get closer to the kidnappers and move on with the rescue operation in the safest way for the businessman.

The operations was conducted by 15 EKAM police officers under the command of Chief Police Officer of Crete, General, Constantinos Lagoudakis.

Police sources say the place they found him was the last hideout as they moved him to others so that his traces would not be known.

Two people were arrested on the spot. The police has arrested a total of seven people and according to information, among them are two former employees of Mr. Lempidakis.

No weapons were found in the premises, while the area was sealed by the police.

It should be noted that the place he was being held is very close to where many entertainment and social event venues are located.

What is also impressive is that the business was open all this time without any customer thinking that just a few meters away, on the upper floor, a man was being held captive for ransom.

The food that went to Michalis Limbidakis was in bags three times a day.

According to the first information, all the suspects are Greeks, except for one living in Thessaloniki, a FYROM national, and allegedly the one who was with the victim at the moment of the raid. Some of the suspect have been known to the authorities from previous cases. Specifically, information from protothema.gr indicates that among the arrested are the owner of a farm near Sfakia, a well-known broker and a 23-year-old who has been accused of shooting against a woman.

Among those interrogated is the owner of the used cars business and a criminal with involvement in bombings. Furthermore, the involvement in the kidnapping of a Cretan who had participated in the kidnapping of Panagopoulos in 2009 and two store owners in Rethymnon is being investigated.

“It was an unexpectedly easier operations than we thought it would be”, said a senior police officer, stressing that there was no reaction and the businessman was freed without being harmed in any way.

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