Shipping firm owner kidnapped in Athens

January 12th, 2009 - 6:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Athens, Jan 12 (DPA) The owner of a large Greek shipping company was kidnapped near his home in Athens by armed men Monday, in the third such abduction of a prominent businessman in Greece within six months.Pericles Panagopoulos, the president of Greek ferry operator Superfast Ferries, was abducted by three men carrying Kalashnikov assault rifles as he was being driven to work. His driver was reportedly set free.

Officials have discovered the burned remains of a van and a car, believed to belong to the kidnappers.

The police said they believed the abductors would eventually demand a ransom.

Superfast Ferries operates routes between Greece and Italy.

A well-known Athens doctor, who was kidnapped last month, remains missing.

In June, the chief executive of aluminium company Alumil and chairman of the Federation of Industries in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, George Milonas, was released by kidnappers two weeks after a ransom was paid.

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