Greece’s police announced that a 39-year-old retired boxer is dead after a drive-by shooting on Monday morning in southern Athens, in what appears to be a mafia-style execution.
Tasos Berdesis, a former Greek champion, was shot on Andrea Papandreou Street in Vari. Investigators say Berdesis was shot several times while sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle.
He was dead before help arrived.
The victim had participated in the popular TV reality show Survival Secret, which he won a few years ago.
Police sources say that Berdesis was well known for his connections to crime bosses. The shooting appears to be the latest murder in an on-going gangland feud.
In a separate incident, a 32-year-old Albanian national was shot dead in a coffee shop in Sepolia, west of Athens, on Sunday evening.
Mafia style executions on the rise in Greece
Last April, one of Greece’s top crime reporters, Giorgos Karaivaz, was gunned down by a pair of masked men who pumped ten bullets into the crime reporter’s head, neck and left palm, leaving him dead in a pool of blood outside his home in the suburb of Alimos, south of Athens.
The murder was the first assassination of a journalist in the European Union since the 2018 murder of investigative reporter Jan Kuciak in Slovakia.
Many people in Greece instantly remembered another grim day — July 19, 2010, when another prominent Greek journalist, Socrates Giolias, fell dead from the gunshots from an unknown source.
A substantial number of Greek organized crime groups are centered in Athens. However, many other (semi) organized groups operate throughout other cities, and even villages.
Criminal clans can have their origins from all over Greece: Mafia groups in the bigger cities are especially involved in racketeering, the illegal smuggling of oil, money laundering, weapons and drug trafficking — as well as murder.