13 Jan 2009

Greek ferry boss abducted

7:25 am on 13 January 2009

A Greek shipping owner was kidnapped at gunpoint near his home in the coastal suburbs of Athens on Monday.

Police said Pericles Panagopoulos, 74, founder of Greek ferry operator Superfast Ferries, was abducted by three armed men during a short drive from his home to his office. No-one was injured in the incident.

Mr Panagopoulos and his driver were handcuffed and put in a van. The driver was later released in Koropi, a town northeast of Athens close to the international airport.

Superfast Ferries mainly operates routes between Greece and Italy.

In June, the chief executive of aluminium company Alumil and chairman of the Federation of Industries in the city of Thessaloniki, George Milonas, was kidnapped. However, he was released two weeks later after a ransom was paid.

Last month, a well-known Athens doctor was also kidnapped but is yet to be found.