Greek police yesterday celebrated the capture of one of the country’s most wanted fugitives, far-left extremist Nikos Maziotis who headed the Revolutionary Struggle guerrilla group. Law enforcement agents had been chartering his moves and had deployed agents in places he was believed to frequent. He was spotted in crowded downtown Athens entering an outdoor equipment store on Mitropoleos Street wearing a wig and carrying fake identification.
His arrest is hailed as a police breakthrough, however the police are pursuing the terrorist’s accessories, his hideout and the money he obtained from the robberies he was involved in.
Following his dramatic capture after a shootout that resulted in the injury of two tourists and a policeman, the anti-terrorist squad is carefully examining the keys found in Mr. Maziotis’ possession and the fake ID. They believe that these articles are the basic tools that will lead them to a weapons cache as well as to his life partner Paula Roupa, who is also a fugitive.
Mr. Maziotis and Ms. Roupa have been on the run since July 2012. They were awaiting trial for their participation in the terrorist group Revolutionary Struggle when they disappeared. Both of them were convicted in absentia last year and were sentenced to 25 years for their participation in the group that was active between 2003 and 2009 and is notorious for firing a rocket-propelled grenade into the U.S. Embassy and bombing the Athens Stock Exchange.
Sources late last night revealed that the police were investigating two areas in the Attica region where the terrorist may have had his hideaways. These sources indicate that possible areas where Mr. Maziotis may have sought refuge include Halandri, Maroussi, Marathonas, Kolonos, Grammatiko, Kalogreza, Kypseli, Sepolia and Agios Dimitrio as he had been captured on CCTV footage at stations in these areas.
Fake ID and Car Purchase
Hellenic Police (ELAS) Chief Dimitris Tsaknakis told the press that the terrorist fired eight times in the crowded area, indifferent to the injury that he would cause. On their side, the police shot once and wounded the leading terrorist. Mr. Tsaknakis said that the terrorist had fake ID under the name Mihalis Mihelakis, born on April 16, 1977, in Athens. He used this ID to purchase the car that was possibly used during the robbery at the Agricultural Bank of Greece in May, 2014. The car was a Hyundai Accent with the license plate YHT 2959 bought in 2013. His palm print was also found during another robbery at Troizina, in the northeast Peloponnese.
Mr. Tsaknakis has urged citizens to call anonymously and report anything that they know about the specific car that had been rented or bought by someone named Mihalis Mihelakis on two hotlines – 1014 and 14414.
Scenes from the Wild West in downtown Athens
The Greek Police spotted Mr. Maziotis at 1 p.m. yesterday at Monastiraki Square in the framework of a police intervention. The DIAS motor-cycling police were called in and made their first contact with the terrorist at the corner of Athinas and Agias Irinis streets and the terrorist shot once before disappearing into Monastiraki Square.
When he saw that he was surrounded by police he fired five times against them using a USP gun. As a result, he wounded two tourists, an Australian and a German. He was chased to Mitropoleos Street where he met with police forces again and tried to escape by shooting against the DIAS squad twice, one of his shots wounded a policeman on duty. He was wounded in the left arm, was subsequently captured and moved to Evangelismos Hospital.