These are the first photographs of the gypsy couple who appeared in court today charged with abducting Maria, a young blonde girl whose identity remains a mystery.

Hristos Salis, 39, and Eleftheria Dimopoulou, 40, have been held in custody pending trial after responding to the charges behind closed doors in Larissa, Greece, this afternoon.

The couple, who face a sentence of ten to 20 years in prison if convicted, deny snatching the girl and say they took her under their care after her mother handed the girl to them shortly after giving birth.

‘It was an adoption that was not exactly legal, but took place with the mother’s consent,’ Constantinos Katsavos, one of the lawyers for Salis, told reporters, adding that is what the couple testified in court.

The couple were also charged with procuring false documents, while Salis faces separate charges, together with other people from the settlement, for allegedly possessing an illegal firearm and drug-related offences.

Maria, who the Greek media has dubbed the ‘blonde angel’, is the focus of a global Interpol investigation after she was found in Tabakou gipsy settlement near Farsala, central Greece, during a drug and gun raid last week.

Eleftheria Dimopoulou, Christos Salis, and "Maria"

Eleftheria Dimopoulou, Christos Salis, and “Maria”

Police photos released today show authorities seized a haul of goods including a range of chainsaws, a pen-style pistol with bullets as well as drugs.

The evidence photos also show credit cards which are believed to be stolen, alongside a pistol and a balaclava.

Police grew suspicious about Maria because she bore no resemblance to the couple claiming to be her parents. DNA tests showed she is not related to Salis and Dimopoulou.

Today a dental test revealed she is between five and six-years-old–after previous estimates had put her age at four.

At the weekend a charity caring for the girl said she was treated like a ‘dancing bear’ by the family she lived with–who exploited her innocent looks, making her beg for money.

Yesterday a video was released showing Maria dancing reluctantly for a crowd. Around 8,000 inquiries have been made about the girl.

Eight were described as promising, including four from the USA, and others from Sweden, France, Canada and Poland.

Today Greek media are reporting that Maria’s DNA is being compared with DNA samples from people in seven other countries.

The arrested couple’s family have defended two unsettling videos of Maria, saying she was not exploited.

In the first video, from two years ago, she sucks on a dummy as she is made to twirl for the camera, being pushed and manhandled by a laughing Dimopoulou.

As she tries to wander off, the woman seizes her back. At one point, a young boy tries to join in, but the woman shoves him away.

In the latest footage, she appears with Maria Dimitriou, 21, granddaughter of the gipsy camp’s leader.

Mrs Dimitriou told the Mail: ‘Her mother sent her to join us on the stage. She liked dancing–she was not treated badly.’

Maria was ‘filthy and terrified’ when social services took her to Athens-based charity Smile of the Child on Wednesday.

Spokesman Panayiotis Pardalis said: ‘It was obvious that she was not a Roma girl. The little girl was terrified when she first came to us and didn’t talk at all, but she is now calm and has been playing with other kids.’

Director Costas Yannopoulos added: ‘She was living under bad conditions and was very dirty, but is now safe.’

She was released from hospital yesterday, after tests were carried out on her teeth to try to determine her age. Mr Yannopoulos said evidence so far suggested she had been trafficked.

He told the Daily Mail: ‘In the footage you could see her dancing, going round and round like a little trained bear. I believe they were getting money from exploiting the child.’

Dimopoulou’s daughter Panagiota, 18, who released the footage to local television, defended the video.

‘Maria likes dancing,’ she said. ‘She was only pushed in the video because she got too close to the camera. There is no way we would use her for money–that is a lie. We took her in because her mother could not look after her.’

Last night family members showed the Mail the house where Maria was found.

They revealed a small but tidy brick home and claimed the only bedroom–with the only bed, a pink bedspread and cuddly toys–was reserved for her use.

A cupboard, again the only one in the house, contained little girl’s shoes and other clothes.

Pictures released by police show the little girl’s blonde hair may have been dyed brown when she was younger–indicating the family may have wanted to hide her difference.

But another daughter Emmannuella, 16, said Maria’s hair turned blonde naturally.

Mr Yannopoulos said it was ‘well known’ that ‘there is a baby-trade conducted by gipsies between Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and England.’

The couple have told various stories–that she was abandoned by a Bulgarian woman, or found on a rubbish tip–but Mr Yannopoulos said it is more likely she is from Scandinavia.

Yesterday residents of Farsala’s gipsy camp claimed a Bulgarian family had made an arrangement with the couple to look after their daughter since she was a baby.

Babis Dimitriou, the chairman of the Farsala village Roma association, told The Daily Telegraph: ‘There was a Bulgarian husband and wife who were working around Greece in temporary jobs, who used to stay here sometimes.

‘At one point they left the girl to be raised by the family here in the village.

‘The family raised the child as if it was their own, although her father would come back every now and then to see her. The last time he visited was only five days ago, after the arrests had been made.

‘All the other Roma here were telling the Bulgarian man to explain to the police that the girl was his, but he has now disappeared.’

‘We’re talking about a woman who could not raise this child and who gave it to the couple in 2009 through a third party shortly after her birth,’ a lawyer for the couple, Marietta Palavra said at the weekend.

‘There has been no kidnapping, no robbery, no trafficking,’ insisted her colleague Konstantinos Katsavos, who also represents the couple.

‘They did not buy the child,’ he said.

‘We know the (girl’s) parents are from Bulgaria,’ Marios Sainopoulos, a representative for the Roma community in Greece, told Skai TV on Monday.

‘The mother gave the child away because she could not raise it… the child was not kidnapped,’ he insisted.

Police allege the woman claimed to have given birth to six children in less than 10 months, while 10 of the 14 children the couple had registered as their own are unaccounted for.

Police said the family received more than £7,000 a month in benefits for the children they claimed to have.

Police chief Vassilis Halatsis added that the woman had two separate ID cards and names.

He said: ‘Of the children we have traced so far, just by looking at them you can see that there is very little or no resemblance at all to the parents.

‘It is obvious that we are faced with a very well-organised racket, and it is certainly not the only one.’

Neighbours said the couple gave Maria special treatment because of her blonde hair. One woman, washing children’s clothes in a bathtub, said: ‘She was treasured because she was so beautiful . . . We all loved her.’

Salis’s brother Kostas added: ‘She had problems with her eyes. We took her to the doctor, we took her everywhere. We didn’t take her to sell her.’

Haralambos Dimitriou, 57, president of the gipsy settlement, said any conflicting accounts of how Maria came to the family were given ‘out of fear’.

Marietta Palavra, lawyer for the couple, said: ‘There is nothing but love and care between the Roma parents and the four-year-old girl.’

She said they could each face up to ten years in prison if convicted.

At the weekend a Greek couple who were told in 2009 that their baby was stillborn, but later exhumed the grave to find an empty coffin, underwent DNA tests, but found out Maria was not their child.

‘We were always suspicious and when we got the go-ahead from the local prosecutor to exhume the newborn from a local cemetery, we found no remains, nothing in the casket,’ the father, whose wife is fair with blue eyes, told local television.

According to the London-based Minority Rights Group, some 80 percent of Greece’s 300,000 Roma are illiterate.

They are already stereotyped by some in Greece and elsewhere as social outcasts, thieves and beggars – and now they fear they will be stigmatized as child traffickers as well.

The case ‘doesn’t reflect on all of us,’ said Babis Dimitriou, president of the local Roma community.

Police have raided dozens of Gypsy settlements across Greece in the last few weeks, including four more camps Monday in Athens and Thessaloniki.

The state-run Athens News Agency reported Sunday that police were investigating hospitals and childcare agencies for possible child trafficking, suspecting a ring operating between Bulgaria and Greece.

‘The police are investigating every possible angle,’ a spokeswoman at the local Larissa police station told AFP.

In January 2011, police arrested more than a dozen people in the two neighbouring Balkan countries, for the trafficking of newborn babies to Greece.

In that case it was Roma babies who were being trafficked. The ring arranged for pregnant Bulgarian women, primarily of Roma origin, to give birth in Greece with their babies then sold off in illegal adoption procedures.

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • D.B. Cooper

    Those two byproducts are incapable of having a daughter like that. Since natural blonde hair, blue eyes and pale skin fetch the highest price in trafficking, I’m sure the little girl was snatched. When she grows up, toss in a higher than gypsy average IQ, and a height of about 5’10”.

    • Jefferson

      The majority of women never grow to be 5’10 and that includes most White women as well.

      Where I live most White women are not as tall as Gisele Bundchen and Charlize Theron for example.

      Maybe that is the case where you live.

      • Jerrybear

        You’re right. Women in Sweden still only have an average height of 5’5″.

        • Bossman

          Really? I didn’t know that. I prefer them to be at least 5’7.

    • stewball

      You should see my granddaughter. She is 15 and very close to 5’9″. Of course her dad and granddad top 6′ by quite a few inches and she probably hasn’t stopped growing. I hope she has.

  • Pelagian

    “Maria, who the Greek media has dubbed the ‘blonde angel’, ” … the Greek newspapers have racist stereotypes of angels, obviously…. why cant it be a “black angel”?

    • Spartacus

      Because black is the color of feces .

      • IstvanIN

        Only if you are very ill.

      • David Ashton

        Your comments always have a unique charm.

    • Oil Can Harry

      A Gypsy camp in Greece? Please let Golden Dawn in there to take out the trash.

    • stewball

      Hear hear.

  • Spartacus

    Gypsies are known for stealing children, it’s very common. I personally know a guy who was kidnapped by some gypsies when he was just an infant, but his father saved him before they could get away. I hope that little girl grows up to be a strong, proud White woman, and breed many soldiers for the coming troubles .

    • David Ashton

      In Britain we were often told about this when we were young along with their peg-selling, dancing and fortune-telling, even though the old horse-drawn caravans had a certain charm. It is certainly not a baseless “urban myth”, even though it may not be “very common”. What are the motives?

      • Jesse James

        They put the children to work stealing, begging, welfare fraud, perhaps sexual slavery when they get older. This story itself shows the little girl was used to scam the government for welfare and to beg on the streets.

        • D.B. Cooper

          Reminds me of that old Cher song.

          • stewball

            Which one?

      • Spartacus

        There was a story a few years back about a gypsy couple, part of a larger criminal clan, who couldn’t have children, and they paid two non-gypsies, I believe a Romanian man and an ethnically Lipov woman, both naturally blonde and blue-eyed, to have sex so that they could have a child that the gypsy couple would adopt afterwards. To be honest – I have no idea what’s going on through their heads, if anything at all…

        • stewball

          There are plenty of women who either cannot have children or the child was stillborn who are so disturbed by their loss that they take babies out of their prams whilst mum is in the shop. That’s why ee were told to always take the pram in with us so you can’t say only the Roma kidnap babies/children. Oh, but you can. I forgot!

      • Their pocket-picking prowess is, however, not an urban myth.

        • David Ashton

          As an unwitting victim in north Norfolk, England, of all places, and a reader of news from London, Paris and other towns in Europe, I cannot disagree.

        • stewball

          Almost happened to me in Prague but one of my friends saw him. I have however had my purse stolen out of my bag by a Russian!

      • D.B. Cooper

        The stereotype gypsies looked like the cover of Heart’s Little Queen album.
        The only thing missing is the crystal ball.

        • me

          Au contraire! Look what Ann Wilson is holding on the back album cover sleeve….

    • IstvanIN

      My grandparents always said gypsies stole children. Living in NJ I just assumed it was an old country old wives tale. Apparently not. A normal person goes to the authorities or church when they find a lost child, they don’t simply claim them as their own.

    • ShermanTMcCoy

      My wife was taught from an early age to beware Gypsies and to never open the apartment door for anyone, as they were well known for kidnapping children for their disgusting practices. And this was during the Soviet Union.

    • stewball

      Trust you to know somebody kidnapped by Roma no less.

  • MartelC

    In the UK, someone who posts on facebook that gypsies ought to be deported is likely to get more jail time than this couple.

    • dukem1

      Really.

    • me

      The “United Kingdom” is experiencing some kind of massive mental breakdown, apparently. Suicide by ‘multiculturalism’.

  • joesolargenius

    I wonder how long they would have waited before they started prostituting her or using her to make child porn !

    • Sloppo

      I hope she hasn’t already been molested or that she can forget whatever happened.

      • stewball

        Nobody would forget that. It may be closed off for sometime but it will eventually appear in some way or another.

  • So CAL Snowman

    I heard that the guy on the right was the inspiration for Jabba the Hut

  • Xerxes22

    This story will be a great boon fo Golden Dawn. It proves that much of what they have been saying about third world foreigners is correct. This family was collecting almost $4,000 a month from the Greek government for their family of fourteen children..

  • Sloppo

    Dimopoulou’s daughter Panagiota, 18, who released the footage to local television, defended the video. … “There is no way we would use her for money–that is a lie.”

    Well, THAT’s obviously a lie so there is certainly no reason to expect anything but more lies from them. The welfare scamming is not surprising … plus you don’t have to be around gypsies very long to realize that their normal way to make a living is using children to steal and beg. It’s a terrible form of child abuse, but for them it’s business as usual.

    • LIBERTYSINCURSION

      “It’s a terrible form of child abuse, but for them it’s business as usual.” And for brain dead Liberals it’s just another form of lifestyle. And just because they use their children and, apparently any other peoples children they are able to kidnap along the way. As little slaves used to make a living for the adults doesn’t mean we should treat them any different. Because after all, it’s just their lifestyle which is a part of their culture and as we all know, all cultures are equal. Right?

      ( Liberals Are The Active Enablers Of Evil And The Bringers Of Destruction! )

      In Liberals eyes being a child enslaving criminal Roma is given a higher standing in society than a White business owner who employs his fellow countrymen. The child enslaving, education denying, criminal Roma is seen as benevolent. The goods producing, society building, people employing White business owner is seen as malevolent. One takes from the world, and one provides for the world, and Liberals are always, always, for the takers. Liberals call themselves “progressives”, but the results of everything they do is the very opposite of progress.

      • stewball

        My first vote ever, when I was a naive 21 year old – more than 40 years ago, was for the liberals. I knew nothing about politics but I liked the leader of that party.

  • When they came after the Jews, I didn’t say anything in their defense because I wasn’t a Jew.

    When the came after the Gypsies . . .
    . . . hey, maybe Tim Tebow will join the Rams!

    • stewball

      When my lot came! Do you mean to the Golden Country – USA – and you didn’t say anything because you are not a jew, do you mean you are a Roma?

  • There are more out there, but you won’t see about them in news stories.
    MSM just “can’t afford” to let Whites see stories about White victims of Diversity, especially beautiful blonde children.

    WHITES MUST NEVER BE ALLOWED TO THINK OF THEMSELVES AS VICITMS. They are always the oppressor, exploiter, excluder, and hateful racists.

  • dukem1

    The way things are going, it’s not if, but when.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    CNN was running a story about this earlier today. Look what other story they placed right next to it.

    They have since moved the stories around, as I knew they would, which is why I took a screenshot earlier.

    • LIBERTYSINCURSION

      It never fails with these people! The Liberal media waste no time painting the victims as the “real” perpetrators, and the perpetrators as the “real” victims! Insane much?

      Thanks for grabbing the CNN screenshot friend!

  • Marlin B. Newburn

    At least the willfully ignorant and education-rejecting people in this country, the U.S. of A., have a motive for a lifetime of illiteracy. It pays them a lifetime of dividends in the way of government handouts to include preferences in hiring and school admissions.

    I’ve seen gypsies at work during visits to Europe. The women sit on the cathedral steps in the city squares, and they disperse their children around the area to beg. Their (very dirty and ragged- clothed) children are taught to display a sad affect while slowly playing a concertina or some other small instrument. A small metal cup sits in front of them. Sure enough, a tourist will drop in some coins.

    A French cop told me that only tourists are suckers for this ruse as he explained how it all worked. He even added that they believed the most successful cons in their bands were blessed by God for their skills, per their religious beliefs.

    It’s like a drug addict, to include alcoholic, where the gypsy lifestyle is a preferred way of living. The only difference is that no amount of intervention will ever work to change a gypsy.

    • The last time I was in Europe, I kicked one of those begging cups about fifty yards. The walking filth also like having their teenaged girls touch people, which I can’t abide; perhaps this is for pick-pocketing. I probably hate Gypsies even more than Mr. Spartacus.

      • stewball

        Is it possible to hate more than Sparky?

        • I can sure do it. I was actually once banished from this site because of my absolute hatred for Muslims.

          I take all that hate out and look at it once in a while. It still fits.

  • IKantunderstand

    Welcome to the future: White DNA will be as rare as anything has ever been on this planet. And people will pay whatever the cost, to acquire it. No matter what, understand that your DNA is priceless. It will become a commodity. And, before, you dismiss me as crazy, please remember, people thought Orwell was nuts as well. And, Aldous Huxley.

  • WR_the_realist

    I don’t have any direct experience with them, but it would seem that gypsies are the equivalent of Europe’s own indigenous black people.

  • Massinissa

    Yup, the typical Gypsie f**kfaces!

  • Marlin B. Newburn

    Gypsies are very dark skinned. They’re also very dirty and unkempt beyond belief as if they purposely live that way to keep non-gypsies at a distance. It sure works. I’ve seen them while visiting Europe, and in particular, they infest France. Gypsies hate everyone outside of their tribe, and will get violent if anyone gets too physically close. Then again, hold your nose in the attempt.

  • Bossman

    Maybe he is a more recent arrival from India who joined the tribe. It is very strange that after a 1000 years the Roma of Europe are still a distinct tribe.

  • Massinissa

    We don’t want them to assimilate. I don’t want any of their filthy tribes member anywhere near a White girl.

    • stewball

      You talking about Jews or Roma?

      • M.

        The Roma, of course.
        Most Jews (if not all) lead decent lives, and their criminal record is near to naught.
        The only thing I don’t like about them is that they tend to be left-leaning.

  • LIBERTYSINCURSION

    Right there we have two fine upstanding contributors to society. How could anyone not want them to be a part of their community? Who but racist could have a problem with this? Derp!

  • Zaporizhian Sich

    This girl is almost certainly a Slav, and most likely a Ukrainian. Right now Ukraine is the poorest nation in Eastern Europe with the worst corruption too. Living conditions there are to put it bluntly horrible, and as if it’s not bad enough, Muslim and Jewish run sex-trafficking rings are kidnapping Ukrainian girls and women, she could well be one of them. I do hope this probably very traumatized girl is reunited with her family and she recovers.

    • Ella

      I thought she looked Slavic too, maybe Polish. We have some Slavs in our family through marriage and the little girl just has slightly different

      • stewball

        Would you want her to be reunited with her bio parents if they did hand her over like a parcel?

        • Ella

          If the parents abandoned her to gypsies or anyone, they have no parental rights. They still don’t have any real leads on the parents, except possibly Bulgaria, and anyone can fabricate a story.

    • stewball

      Where are you from?

  • Whites saying anything about race crime other than blaming themselves will be considered WORSE that the crime.

  • stewball

    There you go. You can’t state that swedish woman are only such and such a size. Like saying ALL white men are intelligent!!!

  • stewball

    Video blocked in my country!

    • Jesse James

      Gypsies, tramps and thieves – Cher. Got to say though I have always loved those vardos.

  • stewball

    I hate it when people stereotype everybody.

    • Jesse James

      Then maybe the majority of people in the groups that are frequently stereotyped should try harder not to live up to their reputations.

      • stewball

        Stereotyped. Mmmm. Like who besides the Roma and the blacks? Like all the Jews are rich? I wish.

        • Jesse James

          Ha good one. If they let you into the global conspiracy you can send me some money and I will toast your continued good fortune.

          • stewball

            But that’s what people think. Ridiculous.

          • Jesse James

            I’m just razzing you a bit stew, have a great evening.

          • stewball

            I know you are sweety and don’t worry the endearendearment I’m a female. People get stuck due to my aka.
            You have a good night too.

          • stewball

            If I had I’d send. 😉

  • stewball

    They weren’t suspicious if you read the article. They went in for firearms and saw the child.

  • stewball

    Those Jews are assimilating?
    There are some Polish Jews who are so dark they are initially thought to be Sephardic Jews. Just threw that in for information if anybody’s interested 😉

  • stewball

    And America and England and Israel. Most of the world in fact but these are the only ones I hear about.

  • stewball

    Oy. We’ve enough problems already without taking Europe’s s–t thank you very much

  • stewball

    I’d be able to exist on half of that.

  • stewball

    As far as I know all gypsies are Roma.

  • BulgAryan

    Well, it turned out she’s the albino daughter of a Bulgarian gypsy couple. According to Bulgarian media reports they have “about ten” children, with another 2 albino

    • BulgAryan

      The biological mother with another albino child

      • BulgAryan

        “Maria”‘s siblings

    • BulgAryan

      “Maria”‘s older brother