Greek police arrest suspected crime boss sought by Russia

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece has arrested a suspected crime boss with the underworld title of "vor v zakone" - or thief in law - wanted by Russia under an Interpol red notice, police officials said on Wednesday.

Europe has stepped up its fight against Russian-speaking organised crime groups since the assassination of a clan leader in 2013 in Moscow triggered a power struggle among the crime network.

Europol, the EU-wide police liaison agency, says the "vory v zakone" (thieves in law) network is a tightly-structured type of criminal organisation originating in the underworld of the Soviet Union, which fell apart in 1991.

Greek police arrested the 51-year old Georgian, whose name has not been released, on Tuesday after receiving a tipoff that he was planning to travel to Athens. A red notice had been issued by Interpol against him at the request of Russia.

He was arrested at a restaurant in central Athens where he had been attending a dinner with 13 other men, among them a 58-year old man who was later also arrested for gun possession.

A third man was arrested for lacking a residence permit and refusing to undergo an identity check.

The other men at the dinner were briefly detained and then freed.

(Reporting by Yannis Souliotis; Editing by Gareth Jones)