Greek Mafia Boss Gunned Down

Vangelis Zambounis' killers fired more than 90 shots
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 16, 2024 4:09 PM CST

Greek organized crime boss Vangelis Zambounis survived an attempt to kill him in 2018 when a would-be assassin's Kalashnikov jammed. He wasn't so lucky early Sunday morning, when he was killed by a hail of more than 90 bullets from a better-functioning Kalashnikov. The 44-year-old was gunned down outside a gas station he owned in southern Athens, the BBC reports. Two police officers were arrested the next day for leaking video of the killing, which shows two men firing at Zambounis as he got into an armored BMW. After one man fired the assault rifle at the driver's window at close range, a second man opened the door and fired more shots with a handgun.

The suspects are still at large. After the killing. they drove away in a Lexus that police said had been stolen in Italy months earlier. The burnt-out vehicle was later found on the outskirts of Athens. The motive for the killing is unclear, though Zambounis had plenty of enemies. Some have speculated that the killing is linked to tensions between tobacco-smuggling gangs, while others believe it is payback for the killing of rival gangland figure Vassilis Roubetis last year, reports the BBC. Nea Kriti reports that Zambounis had been accused of crimes including robbery, extortion, and plotting to murder a judge. (More Greece stories.)

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