Greek Mafia leader shot and killed

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Vangelis Zambounis, 44, was sitting in the driver's seat of an armoured BMW when two gunmen approached it

A violent murder at a gas station in southern Athens has shown how ruthless the Greek mafia can be.

Police are looking for the people who killed Vangelis Zambounis, a crime boss who was shot earlier this week.

Zambounis, a important criminal leader in Greece, was shot at over 90 times with a Kalashnikov rifle.

He was accused of leading a group that forced people to give them money and being part of illegal trading of cigarettes and fuel.

A video from a security camera shows a man, believed to be Zambounis, getting into a armored BMW jeep parked at his gas station in Athens.

Another car comes and stops behind the BMW. The police found out that the car was a Lexus stolen in Italy a few months ago, and it had fake license plates on it.

Two guys jump out. Someone wearing all black and a balaclava walked up to the BMW and shot an AK-47 at the driver’s window from very close, and then reloaded the gun.

The person with the gun takes it out of his jacket, opens the car door, and shoots the person inside again. Another person also shoots at the car with a different kind of gun. Both of them then leave in the Lexus car.

The police found the burnt-out car on the edge of Athens after the criminals escaped.

The brutal murder has caused a lot of focus in Greece, especially because it was recorded on camera and then shown on Greek TV shortly after. Two police officers got arrested the next day for sharing secret information and giving the video to the news.

Many people in Greece are talking and guessing about why Mr. Zambounis was killed.

One idea is that it was ordered as payback for the murder of mafia rival Vassilis Roubetis in June 2023. Another idea is that the murder happened because of problems between local tobacco smugglers and overseas mobsters who bring in cheap cigarettes from Ukraine.

The local news also said that a Kalashnikov rifle was found in Mr. Zambounis’s car, and he had a pistol in his belt.

He survived a murder attempt in 2018 when someone tried to shoot at his car, but the gun didn’t work.

According to a Greek newspaper, more than 20 murders have happened in Greece since 2017. These were carried out by gangs involved in illegal activities like extortion.

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