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Greek police: head of international crime ring arrested

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — Greek police say they have caught the suspected head of a European organized crime ring specializing in burglaries, robberies and extortion in France and Greece.

Police said Wednesday the 57-year-old Georgian man was among 14 people arrested in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki in a two-day operation involving more than 100 police officers. Those arrested included another two suspected leading members of the organization.

The crime ring is believed to have carried out at least 56 burglaries in Thessaloniki in the last year, stealing items worth more than 1 million euros.

Crime squad director Brig. Avraam Aivatzidis described the arrests as among the most important burglary cases in Greek police history.

Another 17 suspected members of the crime ring were arrested in France for burglaries in Brittany and Normandy.

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