Crete: happy end to the hostage crisis involving businessman after 6 months! Huge success for the Hellenic Police

The abduction of the Cretan businessman Michalis Lebidakis ended at 7am Monday morning with his release.

The unprecedented by Greek standards operation was planned by excellent officers of the Hellenic Police after utilizing intelligence provided by the new intelligence branch of the Hellenic Police, in collaboration with the Security Departments of Attica and Crete, bearing in mind the international protocol for abduction cases.
Apart from Hellenic Police officers and the specially trained team of negotiators, which was by the side of the Lebidakis family for the entirety of his abduction, bugs, microcameras and thermal imaging were used to monitor the place the 53-year old had been transferred in the past weeks.

Lebidakis Car

The 15 abductors

So far 8 people have been arrested and in the next few hours 7 more arrests are expected. The 15 people participating in the organization have been identified by the authorities. Furthermore, according to information gathered by “The Greek Observer” 14 of them were Cretans, while the other one hailed from the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), residing permanently in Thessaloniki.

The majority of the people involved have dealt with the authorities in the past.

The astronomical ransom demands and the ground-breaking technique

The abductors’ initial ransom demands reached the astronomical sum of 200 million euros, while during their last communication they demanded 18 million euros.

The ransom demands were extremely high due to the fact that the businessman’s family owns the company introduced to the stock exchange market “Plastika Kritis S.A.”, which collaborates with partners from Romania, Turkey, Poland, Germany, as well as China, where the company recently built a cutting edge unit for the production of greenhouse films and geomembranes, in collaboration with Chinese state-owned companies.

It is worth noting that Mr. Lebidakis’ company since 1983 was the first in the world to start producing 3-layer greenhouse films, a technique patented in Greece.

Disposable cell phones

The 53-year old businessman since the 30th of March 2017 was being constantly moved in order to avoid detection and for the same reason the perpetrators used disposable cell-phones and only communicated via text messages.

The successful release

During today’s raid in a junkyard on the highway connecting Rethymno-Chania (situated only 4km from Rethymno at a very close proximity to the highway), the 53-year old was found lying on a matress on the floor, with his hands bound behind his back, while one of his leg was chained.

Lebidakis Location

Michalis Lebidakis, was exhausted and was immediately transferred to the medical wing of the Rethymno Police Academy in order to receive first aid, where it was found that he weighted barely 47 kilos.

Mass abductions in Crete

The statistical data provided by the Hellenic Police are astonishing since most abductions have occurred in Crete, where the unique unsolved case of Michalis Metaxas, who disappeared in February 1996, can be traced.

Happy end

It really is a huge success for the Hellenic Police as the operation was executed flawlessly, and could be root for jealousy for the Secret Services of the USA.

The bottom line is that they managed to catch the perpetrators “off guard” and return safe and sound to his family the Cretan businessman.


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