Greece arrests suspected criminal gang leader wanted by Turkey

By Thomson Reuters May 15, 2024 | 10:39 AM

ATHENS (Reuters) – Greek police have arrested a Turkish national, the suspected leader of a criminal group wanted by Ankara for a range of crimes including manslaughter, Greek police and intelligence sources said on Wednesday.

Police acted on an international warrant and arrested the 29-year old man on Friday last week following an initial tipoff by the Turkish intelligence service.

Turkey has also issued 14 arrest warrants against him, sources said, adding that the extradition process had been initiated.

The man was named as Ramazan Baygar by the state-run Anadolu news agency that cited an Adana governor confirming his arrest in Greece in a statement.

Turkish media said he was the suspected leader of an organized criminal group called “Baygaralar”.

The case started unfolding in February, when two Turkish men, suspected members of the same criminal gang that was operating in Adana, were arrested by Greek police on the island of Crete.

Turkey and Greece, NATO allies and historic foes, have long been at odds over maritime boundaries, energy resources and other issues. In recent months they have made high-profile steps to ease tensions.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis met in Ankara on Monday to discuss ways to improve ties further.

(Reporting by Yannis Souliotis; Additional reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu; Writing by Renee Maltezou; Editing by Bill Berkrot)