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13 April, 2024
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Major crime boss gunned down in Greece

How Zambounis’ killers avoided suspicion: Stolen car with matching plates

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

By Yiannis Souliotis

New evidence has emerged about the mafia execution of Vangelis Zambounis on Sunday morning in Neos Kosmos. The Hellenic Police are still investigating the case, which is another episode in the bloody cycle of the Greek mafia.

According to sources, the perpetrators used a Jeep Lexus that had been stolen from a foreign country six months ago.

This evidence was revealed after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations checked its registration number.

The vehicle also had fake license plates that matched another similar vehicle in Greece. This way, it would not raise any suspicion in case of a police inspection.

The two scenarios
As "K" reported today, the Security Police are looking into two main scenarios for the deadly ambush: it could be either a revenge act or a contract killing aimed at controlling the smuggling of fuel and cigarettes.

The 44-year-old was one of the most influential figures in the "night" scene. He had been previously accused of being a leading member of an extortion gang. He had also survived an assassination attempt in Piraeus in 2018.

Last June, he was suspected of being involved in the Kalashnikov killing of Vassilis Roubetis in Korydallos. Roubetis was also a rival of the 44-year-old in the "night" scene and in the oil trafficking business. He was also the secret owner of at least one gas station on Pireos Street.

A few months ago, a stolen car with a Kalashnikov, magazines, and petrol cans hidden in the trunk was found in Neos Kosmos, a few dozen meters away from Zambounis' gas station. The police believed that it was part of a plot to attack Zambounis. Roubetis' DNA was also found inside the car.

One of the scenarios that was considered at the time (without any conclusive evidence) was that Zambounis had thwarted the attack on himself by 'eliminating' his rival. Roubetis was shot dead with a Kalashnikov at the entrance of his house.

In light of this, many people now think that the brutal murder of Zambounis on Sunday morning was a revenge for what happened last year.

Another version
Some other sources from within the police have a different version.

They mention recent bomb attacks in West Attica that targeted expatriates from former Soviet countries who are involved in cigarette and oil smuggling. They also claim that Zambounis had an active role in these activities. They believe that the murder two days ago was not related to the Roubetis case, but was motivated by the control of the illegal trade of tobacco and petroleum products.

Traces of expatriates from former Soviet countries were also found in the case of the murder of Yannis Skaftouros, in May 2022, at his vacation home in Skourta.

Zambounis was attacked as he was leaving his gas station in Neos Kosmos. Sources indicate that both the gas station and the jeep he used for his travels were bulletproof.

The CCTV footage showed that, seconds after the 44-year-old got into the vehicle, one of the attackers fired a Kalashnikov rifle at the driver's window from close range. He emptied two magazines and then opened the door and shot the victim with a pistol.

It is still unclear why the bullets went through the bulletproof glass, or how the attacker managed to unlock and open the car door. However, 97 casings from a Kalashnikov and some from the pistol that was used to shoot Zambounis were found at the scene.

A pistol and a Kalashnikov that the 44-year-old could not use were also found in his vehicle.

The mystery is why the members of his supposed personal guard were absent from the scene.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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