Tourists Attacked on Greek Island Earlier Too, Travel Advisories Suggested

by Gopalan on Aug 3 2008 12:07 PM

Apparently Mykonos island in Greece is no safe place for tourists. Anyone could fall easy prey to thugs over there. Better be on your guard, advise two Australian brothers who were bashed up there last year.

Even as Greece was reeling under the impact of the Tuesday’s cruel attack on two Australians on the island, one of them dying ultimately, Dan and Brad Heckendorf briefed the media in London of their own bitter experience on Mykonos in July 2007

"My brother and I get into an argument with a taxi driver about getting our change back. He got on his mobile phone and all of a sudden at least 15 Greeks with baseball bats, batons and chains appeared out of nowhere," Dan said.

"They demanded we hand over our wallets. I think they look for any excuse to hook into tourists.

"My brother was able to run and seek help, and so only received minor cuts and bruising, but in trying to reason with these thugs, they punched, kicked and belted me with their weapons for a 10-minute period.

"I tried to run but it was very late at night and we were in a secluded part of the island with no one else around to help. I was bashed so severely that my eye socket was smashed to pieces requiring major surgery when I returned to London, where I am currently living.

"My whole eye orbit had to be reconfigured with three metal plates and 12 screws. The experienced surgeon who operated on my eye, told me that I was lucky to be alive and just as lucky to still have my eye."

Dan Heckendorf, 30, who works in the finance industry, said he had recovered from the attack. He said the death of Doujon Zammit last week prompted his decision to go public and plead for the Department of Foreign Affairs to issue warnings to travellers.

Doujon Zammit, who was a school captain at Cecil Hills High School, finished a graphic design course last year and planned to travel around Europe for a few months. He had been away for four weeks and visited Italy, Malta, Spain, Greece and Dubai.

He was travelling with his 20-year-old cousin, Cameron Tabone, whose nose and wrist were broken.

The two, together with a third Sydney man, were allegedly followed from the club by two of its employees. The unidentified third Australian is believed to have suffered head injuries.

It is understood the club employees - a 25-year-old bouncer and an 18-year-old car park attendant - approached Tabone and Zammit after they left the venue, demanding their passports and accusing them of stealing a handbag. When they protested their innocence and refused to hand over their travel documents, an altercation ensued. Two other bouncers who were passing by allegedly joined the fight.

The 25-year-old bouncer has been remanded in custody and the other three men have been freed under strict bail conditions.

A memorial service was held Sunday in Sydney for Doujon Zammit.