Oddly Enough

Notorious Greek prisoner escapes by helicopter-again

Policemen walk towards a helicopter that was used by two inmates to escape from Korydallos prison in Athens February 22, 2009. REUTERS/Icon

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece’s most notorious prisoner escaped from an Athens jail on Sunday in a Hollywood-style helicopter getaway -- for a second time.

Vassilis Palaiokostas, 44, had escaped from the maximum security prison in 2006 in an operation involving helicopters and fast cars.

He was arrested again last summer for allegedly organising the kidnap of an industrialist and was awaiting trial.

“Palaiokostas and his Albanian accomplice escaped from Korydallos prison by helicopter,” a police official who declined to be named told Reuters.

“The helicopter was then found in the northern Athens suburb of Kapandriti but there was no trace of the fugitives.”

Palaiokostas was serving a prison sentence for multiple robberies and kidnapping when accomplices whisked him out of the prison courtyard three years ago. Police found him in August by tracing the marked ransom money.

Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Robert Woodward