Greek Far-Left Anarchist Main Suspect in Armed Bank Robberies

Sports bag full of money with gun-cutout
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Greek police have stated that a known far-left anarchist extremist is the main suspect in three armed bank robberies in Athens in the last month.

Police say they are searching for the anarchist extremist along with another suspect after a Piraeus Bank branch was robbed in the centre of Athens on Tuesday in broad daylight.

According to a report from the newspaper I Kathimerini, the two assailants entered the bank wearing surgical masks and pretending to be customers before approaching a teller and pulling out a pistol and a Kalashnikov rifle that had been hidden in a backpack.

The pair stole €13,000 (£11k/$15k) and forced an employee to open an exit door for them.

A witness to the robbery stated that both of the suspects spoke Greek well and that during the robbery, they had made insulting anti-authoritarian statements commonly used by anarchists. Witnesses also noted one of the suspects had a particular tattoo on his arm.

On August 10th, the National Bank of Greece in Petralona was robbed in nearly exactly the same manner, with two people wearing surgical masks and carrying a pistol and a Kalashnikov rifle robbing a teller. A robbery of another branch of Piraeus Bank, at the junction of Georgiou Papandreou and Nikis streets, took place on August 18th and saw the suspects get away with €11,000 (£9k/$13k).

According to the newspaper Proto Thema, Greek police believe the robberies are all linked, and the main suspect is a well-known anarchist extremist with multiple prior convictions, including possession of a firearm, and is considered particularly dangerous.

The Greek Counter-Terrorism Unit has also become involved with the case and is receiving updates on the investigation from the police.

Anarchists committing armed bank robberies in Greece is not a new phenomenon, with the notorious far-left November 17 (17N) terrorist group committing at least 103 armed robberies, assassinations, and bombing attacks from 1975 to 2000.

The group’s hitman Dimitris Koufontinas, convicted for killing 11 people, went on a hunger strike earlier this year, prompting over 100 attacks by his far-left extremist sympathisers.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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