The 51-year-old owner of a well known chain of pawn shops in Greece was arrested as a leading figure in one of two gangs of gold smugglers recently dismantled by police, in operations that led to the arrest of another 58 suspects, Athens-Macedonian News Agency (ANA) sources revealed on Wednesday.
The specific pawn-shop owner, who starred in his own televised advertisements, is accused of collecting large quantities of gold from his own and other pawn shops and then smuggling out to Turkey and other countries.
A prominent goldsmith also played a crucial role in the second gang, which again involved other pawn shop owners, foreigners and known criminals.
After searching the homes and business premises of the suspects, police confiscated large quantities of gold and silver, weapons, large amounts in cash and quantities of jewellery.
The operation to dismantle the two gangs was carried out by the Northeastern Attica Security Police and the Marousi Security Police Department, with the assistance of services at the Attica Security headquarters and the special counter-terrorism unit EKAM.
The suspects arrested will be taken before a public prosecutor on Wednesday, with a full briefing on the case to be given by police later on Wednesday.