THESSALONIKI, Greece -- It took an undercover operation, but Greek police have blown a hole in a ring of alleged crooks who had cornered the doughnut market in a beach resort.
It started with complaints that two Bulgarian men and a former Greek wrestling champion were using violence to choke off the trade by other doughnut vendors on Paliouri beach in the Halkidiki peninsula near Thessaloniki.
So an undercover officer posed as a doughnut seller, police said Tuesday, and he was attacked, leading to the arrest of the three aggressive doughnut sellers.
As a result, they have been charged with blackmail and fraud. They also were charged with food safety violations after police found they had stashed their product in an abandoned hotel that was open to the elements and used by bathers as a toilet.