Two Greek citizens belonging to the country’s Muslim minority were arrested on the southeastern island of Rhodes and face charges of espionage in Greece.
One of the suspects, aged 35, was reportedly employed as a secretary at the Turkish consulate in Rhodes whereas a second suspect, a 56-year-old chef, had been operating from a ferry from Rhodes to the Greek island of Kastellorizo, 1.2 miles off the Turkish cost.
The two were accused of espionage on Saturday night, and investigations by Greek authorities moved into action.
The chef confessed to his actions when arrested, stating that he used his position on the ferry to report on the position of Greek Navy ships and any other relevant information to the consulate worker. He said he did not do it for the money but “to help his country”. The Rodopi-born consulate worker was found to have maintained a Facebook page which promotes an “independent Western Thrace” and is filled with nationalist Turkish symbols and anti-Greek views.
A laptop and three cell phones have been confiscated from the house of the secretary, and have been sent to the Greek Directorate of Criminological Investigations for analysis and retrieval of data.
The chef had been under surveillance since last August when he was seen photographing military positions and facilities around the island of Kastellorizo in collaboration with the secretary of the Turkish consulate, reports Greece’s daily Kathimerini.
Both face charges of violation of article 148 of the Penal Code for espionage and A.N. 376/1936 on security measures of fortified positions by conspiracy.
The Greek police released a statement confirming the two were arrested following an investigation “conducted in close cooperation with the Greek National Intelligence Service (EYP)”.
Further involvements of international groups or governments have yet to be established.