Greek cops raid Athens University dorms, arrest 32 gang suspects

ATHENS — With the deployment of some 400 campus cops to colleges in limbo, police have raided former dormitories at the National Technical University of Athens believed to be used by a criminal gang and seized some of them. stopped 32.

Authorities said the suspects were part of an organization that carried out armed robbery, drug trafficking and other crimes and were not students but had occupied the rooms as hiding places.

“They used the campus as a staging ground to commit robberies and drug dealing,” said Dimitris Davalos, director of the Greater Athens Police Department’s Criminal Division.

A suspect was hospitalized with a gunshot wound after allegedly attacking an arresting officer who was also injured, police said, but no name was given in accordance with data privacy laws.

Police said they seized firearms, knives, expandable batons and other weapons, as well as cocaine, marijuana and drug treatment equipment. Greek college grounds had often been used by criminal elements and drug traffickers, but the New Democracy government ended an asylum policy on campuses, but backed out of letting new campus cops in. .

The raid, involving police special forces and members of an anti-terrorist unit, came amid a politically charged debate over policing Greece’s universities where many scholars and students are unsure. not want despite violent incidents.

For decades, police officers were legally prohibited from entering campus without permission from university authorities, except in life-threatening or other extreme incidents.

Restrictions have been mostly removed in recent years, but plans to create a police force on campus have met with strong resistance from left-wing opposition parties and many student groups who do not. do not want.

(Material from The Associated Press was used in this report)

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