Greece: Hunt for Albanian escapees biggest police op of decade (Digital Journal, July 7, By Katerina Nikolas)

The hunt for the Albanian prisoners who escaped from a Greek prison in March has turned into the largest police operation of the decade. Since the escape the convicts have been on a spree of robbery and murder.

These are the kind of events that inspire movies. Greek police have launched the biggest manhunt in a decade as they pursue the fugitives that escaped from Trikala prison as they make their way to the Albanian border through the mountainous terrain of northern Greece.

Three of the original 11 escapees were apprehended shortly after the mass escape. Another was shot dead, along with an uncle who aided the escape, just over a week ago. Media has reported the escapees planned to spring another Albanian compatriot from another Greek jail but their plans were thwarted.

The Albanian criminals have committed the cold blooded murder of a policeman in Dostimo, and shot 25-year-old Katerina Zogali dead. They were also responsible for a one million euro bank heist in May. Altogether they have been linked to 69 robberies since their escape.

[Say, isn’t that how our friends the KLA got their start? And isn’t this happening in the part of Greece that Albanians want? Epirus?]

According to Proto Thema the seven remaining fugitives have been living like wild animals in the mountains for the past 20 days, as they edge closer to Albania. They are being tracked with thermal cameras. Newsit reports that the police operation is hampered by the number of tourists in the area that could be used as hostages by the armed criminals.

The drama continues to unfold as police intensify their searches despite the risk of facing dangerous men armed with Kalashnikovs.