After six months of distress, 53-year-old Mihalis Lembidakis was identified chain-to-foot in a spraying yard at the 5th kilometer of the National Road of Rethymno-Chania.
His captors were all Cretans except one.
The operation began half an hour after seven in the morning and within twenty minutes the police arrested Lembidakis prisoners who were immobilized and did not react.
The businessman was clearly weakened and injured after half a year in the hands of his abductors.
In parallel police operations with the one in the hideout, six more people were found and arrested in the wider region, reaching the total of eight arrests. Among the arrested were the 16-year-old daughter of one of the kidnappers.
According to information, the minor was the person who had sent one of the text messages to the victim’s family and bought the prepaid cards of the perpetrators.
Investigations continue to identify other people’s involvement.
The businessman was transferred to Heraklion Police to testify.
A similar kidnapping has not happened in Greece and the police operation that took place was impeccable.
The excessive prolongation of the thriller by the actors themselves, who just a few days ago retreated to their demands by asking for less ransom, worked against them. It gave the authorities time to collect new information and reach their doorstep.
The police officers investigating the case for three months were watching three suspects. In a traffic control last July, to the car they were driving, they discovered that no one had a cell phone. This has led to conviction that the investigations were in the right direction and began to track most of the coil members.
As the kidnappers demanded money, the police officers “locked” their position and waited for the opportunity to intervene. Several of the arrested have previously been involved with the Authorities.
One member from Thessaloniki was one of the two guards of the victim in the yard, which was his last “prison”. The kidnappers had taken him over six months to farmhouses, warehouses, and even houses in the wider area in an attempt to erase his traces.
The Chronicle of Abduction
The first act of the drama began in the afternoon of Thursday 30 March. The 53-year-old businessman was driving from Heraklion toKalessa. His kidnappers who knew the route they were following, set him up and immobilized him. His car was found by the police injured and abandoned with the doors wide open.
Police officers contacted his family and found they knew nothing about the incident. Then there was an alarm as the mobile phone of Michalis Lempidakis, his personal objects and documents, were found in the car.
A moment later, the Authorities were informed that the Fire Department was called for fire in two cars near the University Hospital. It was a BMW and a rural car who had used it for ambush against the businessman. Their captors set fire to clear their traces.
After a long time the kidnappers contacted the family expressing their demands. Gradually, text messages came from the so-called “Pakistani phones” that were not identified, in a style that proved to be cruel and unscrupulous villains.
They even used handwritten letters of the victim himself as proof of life. But this nightmare did not end, since the kidnappers did not say to assert that the family did not have the requisites.
Following the flawless police operation on the morning of Monday 2 October, the victim was released and his detainees will be brought to justice to face the punishment.