Greek holiday nightmare as Brit 'wrongly' arrested for 72 armed robberies


A British citizen has been thrown in jail after being arrested while on holiday in Rhodes, Greece, for 72 armed robberies, which he says he did not commit.

Fran Prenga, 34, was arrested when he went to a police station to fill in documents relating to a business he was investing in with his family.

He was told police had been looking for him for four years in relation to 72 armed robberies and one count of possessing a weapon without a licence in Athens between 2004 and 2005.

But Mr Prenga's wife, Louise, from Otley, insists he was in Rhodes, and says they have evidence to prove it, including witness statements from employers who he worked for during this time, statements from his landlords whose houses he lived in, tax records, marriage certificates, birth certificates, his passports, all proving Mr Prenga is not the person the Greeks are looking for.

But, despite this, the authorities are still refusing to release him.

Mrs Prenga says her husband is being held in appalling conditions in a jail three hours outside of Athens.

According to the Telegraph & Argus, she said: "It's like a living nightmare. You don't believe it's happening to you – it's like a story you read about.

"Fran's physical condition has deteriorated and he's now fighting infections from the horrendous unhygienic conditions in which he is being kept."

She said he has been held in a cell with 35 other prisoners with no blankets and barely any food.

Mr Prenga became a British citizen in 2008 and runs his own plumbing business. He met Louise while she was on holiday in Rhodes and the couple married in Mr Prenga's native Albania in 2005.

Mrs Prenga also claims she has received little help from the British Embassy and Foreign Office in trying to secure his release.

She has now turned to Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland for help, and he has written to Foreign Secretary William Hague to seek assistance in the case.

He called the "lack of support" the Prengas have received "unacceptable".

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth office told the Telegraph & Argus: "We are aware of the arrest of a British national, Fran Prenga, in Rhodes, Greece, on 8 May. We are providing consular assistance to the family."

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