Greek tycoon's wife appeals to kidnappers to call

The wife of a Greek shipping tycoon Panagopoulos who was abducted six day ago appealed to his kidnappers to contact her.

Greek tycoon's wife appeals to kidnappers to call

The wife of a Greek shipping tycoon who was abducted at gunpoint in Athens six days ago appealed to his kidnappers on Saturday to contact her, saying she was ready to pay the ransom.

Pericles Panagopoulos, founder of Greek ferry operator Superfast Ferries, was snatched along with his driver in broad daylight by three armed men in the coastal suburb of Kavouri on Monday, in Greece's third high-profile abduction since June.

The driver was left tied to a tree shortly after the kidnap but managed to free himself. Police sources said the kidnappers had discussed a ransom between 30 and 40 million euros ($53 million) in front of their captives.

Panagopoulos's wife, Katerina, called state and private Greek TV channels on Saturday saying she was afraid her husband was dead after a 48-hour deadline for the ransom payment had passed and she had not received a call from the kidnappers.

"I appeal to the people who took my husband to contact me," said Katerina Panagopoulou on private MEGA TV.

'HAVE NOTHING MORE TO GIVE'

"I was ready to satisfy their demands 24 hours ago. Since they haven't called and I have nothing more to give, I offer myself in exchange."

She gave no details of the ransom requested. Police have appealed to the kidnappers to treat the 74-year-old magnate well because of his fragile health.

His company Superfast Ferries, which operates mainly routes between Greece and Italy, is a subsidiary of Greece's largest ferry operator Attica Holdings.

The kidnapping comes amid the suspected re-emergence of left-wing guerilla group, Revolutionary Struggle, but police said the abduction was believed to be the work of a criminal gang seeking a ransom.

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

Police arrested Greece's most wanted fugitive, Vassilis Palaiokostas, in August for Milonas's kidnapping, after tracing the ransom money.

Last month, a well-known Athens doctor was also kidnapped but has yet to be found. Police are investigating links between that crime and Monday's abduction.

In December, Greece was rocked by the worst riots in decades following the police shooting of a teenager.

A policeman was seriously wounded more than ten days ago in an attack which was claimed this week by the Revolutionary Struggle guerilla group
Last Mod: 17 Ocak 2009, 16:54
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