What does the lair of a procurer do at Heraklion avenue, uh?
IT’S ON FIRE!
At the dawn of Thursday 20/12/2018 an unpleasant surprise roiled the whole family of Aggelos Giannakopoulos, boss of “Horiatiko” and “Attica Bakeries” baker’s shops, at the family apartment building of 29 Heraklion Avenue in Ano Patisia. Three of the family’s cars were wrapped in flames, the front was damaged and the windows of the ground floor were broken. The forementioned dorm is the same building where, years ago, Giannakopoulos bros were imprisoning, blackmailing and prostituting women from the Eastern Bloc, in their owned lap-dancing clubs, at private appointments, as well as in sleazy “bars” all over Greece.
In the summer of 2007, cops, prosecutors and Department of Financial Crime auditors bust in the said block of flats. In the press, information is leaked that Angelos Giannakopoulos is the head of an international trafficking network. The pimps with the synergy of employment agencies in Eastern European countries were bringing women, withholding their credentials, and selling their bodies to punters. Despite the “coordinated” operation, the two Giannakopoulos brothers get away, while dozens of smaller fish are captured, among them the name of retired cop Konstantinos Kyrou being exposed. The network’s profits were laundered in dozens of “legal” bakeries and shops of Giannakopoulos bros and with the facility of an off-shore company. In addition, those wanted are accused of trafficking of minor and adult women, abduction, injuries, drug trafficking, forgery and money laundering. The next act of the drama is played sixteen months later in November 2008 when a second police operation for the activities of Giannakopoulos is conducted, in cooperation with Interpol (as well as the first time).
He manages to escape again despite the dozens of arrests. Throughout the period of fleeing from justice and persecution, the baker’s shops are opening one after the other, as well as the night enterprises are blooming.
…and judicial adventures
After consecutive postponements, in February 2015 the trial for the first raid starts. The Three-Member Court of Appeal sentences Angelos Giannakopoulos “to a 10 years and six months’ merged imprisonment, Mihail Kretou to 12 years and six months’ imprisonment, Eliostor Igor (Moldovan citizen) to 10 years and 10 months’ imprisonment, while Konstantinos Kyrou was sentenced to 10 years”. By paying a total of € 340,000 as a bail, everyone is set free to continue business until the Court of Appeal (which has not yet come to be).
Last November (2018), having as their main lawyer Babis Lykoudis (involved in Energa – Hellas Power, Tsohatzopoulos and Lavrentiadis cases) the traffickers are tried for the second case and get acquitted. The network had taken care either to make the testimonies change or to eliminate the women witnesses of the prosecution…
The (known and public) business concerns of A.G.
Giannakopoulos participated in pimping networks since the 90s. At the same time, in 1999 he opens the first “Horiatiko” shop, with an obvious goal of having a money-laundering front for his high nighttime turnover. Until the first police operation, his business included dozens of “Horiatiko” shops, with K. Kyrou as staff manager, several lap-dancing clubs (“Star” in Heraklion avenue and “Alcatraz” in Sygrou avenue being the most famous among them), and an offshore in Cyprus. In the period that followed the persecution and until now, apart from the privately owned “Horiatiko” shops, too many franchises are also opened, the “Attica Bakeries” business chain is founded and A.G. becomes a major player in the bread market, with the “exemplar” of the 24-hour labor camps at central spots of many cities. At the same time, he opens cafes and “Kimbo” coffee import company, while he continues with new night-time activities and credits at the “Lohan” club in Gazi, as well as nightclubs in Mykonos.
Nipson monan opsin
(Translator’s note: derived from the ancient Greek palindrome “Nipson anomēmata mē monan opsin” which means “Wash the sins, not only the face” or “Wash my transgressions, not only my face”, here ironically paraphrased meaning “Wash only the face”)
Every mobster who respects himself, in his spare time, is whitewashed with… charities. A.G. finances the NGO “Greece’s European Network of Women” (!) and offers sponsorship to unions and earthquake victims or at least he claims so in the courtrooms and on the company’s site. In addition, he attracts the ready and willing gossip flashes as he is strolling about like a groom and getting photographed with politicians and stars in galas and parties.
If the one hand for laundering is the star-celebrity system, then the other one is the state.
As a mafioso, but also as an employer, A.G. wouldn’t even survive for 30 years without the State’s tolerance, coverage and assistance. From the police “failures” to catch him, to the Financial Crime Investigation Unit / Social Insurance Institute / revenue that find his VAT number alright, all state auditing and repressive institutions bail him out. On his face we see the usual way of the local nocturnal business, with too much cruelty and gall. Still, we acknowledge him for his image of a self-made jeune premier that makes him special in our hearts. He is the first pimp, drug dealer and extortionist we know that not only doesn’t hide, but also seeks prominence and publicity.
Women burnt at the stake
The captive migrant women of A.G. and his mafia is the tip of the iceberg in a patriarchal society, where women are to be submissive to man, the husband, the father, the boyfriend, the brother, the client, the trafficker, and the sex client. The recent murders of Helen in Rhodes and Aggeliki in Corfu represent this condition. With the same ease that the Greek society points the finger at and condemns the murderers, it winks at the conditions that produce the rapists from next door. Patriarchal violence, due to class, sex, race, sexuality, age, and any type of violence exerted by authoritarians doesn’t cease in punishment, but it goes further: it exemplifies, sending out a message to all women to remain silent, obedient, “normal” and they may not be the next victims.
This violence is ubiquitous in daily reality. From the looks that strip, the sexist comments and harassment in the street, sexual assaults at work, to the rapes, assaults and murders, patriarchy opens wounds on our bodies and beings, delimits them with ideologies, institutions and mechanisms. Christian morality defines the woman as the inferior of the man, while stigmatizing any woman who deviates from the standard of a good Christian as a two-faced, sly, deceitful, liar, dirty. On the other hand, lifestyle reduces femininity to a refined, glossy image, always on men’s scale. At the same time, Capital binds women to production chains, while family imposes the exclusive role of motherhood, procreation and housework on them.
Immigrants burnt at the stake
After the economic and social downturn in eastern Europe, “illegal” Capital has established networks of trafficking through employment offices and abductions as well. From Athens to the furthest villages of the Greek provinces, we got full of shabby bars, where women from Eastern Europe are being prostituted slaves to traffickers and punters, experiencing the first-hand exploitation-plunder and the male biopower.
On the other side of the coin, the remaining immigrant women take care of the local middle and petty bourgeoisie, babysitting children, cleaning houses and looking after the elderly. And in addition to the daily patriarchal decay, migrant women are experiencing nationalism, racism and xenophobia, so the Russian is identified as a prostitute, the Albanian as a cleaner, and the Bulgarian as a domestic servant.
Turning the longest night into day
Giannakopoulos family’s comings and goings had made us stay out late. Thus, late at night of 19th to 20th December, we went to the former hellhole of Heraklion Avenue, we left three simple incendiary devices (candle, gasoline, duct tape) on some of their vehicles, set them ablaze and lit up the night.
For each Natascia, Olga, Maria.
NOT AN INCH OF GROUND FOR PIMPS – RAPISTS.
THE PATH OF FREEDOM WILL PASS OVER YOU!
ATTACK ON LEGAL AND ILLEGAL STRUCTURES OF CAPITAL
“Sophia Perovskaya” Cell, January 2019
Translated/revisited by Dino