By: Emily Johnson
April 18, 2014
Thomasville, GA - The Georgia Bureau of Investigation along with the Thomasville Police Department conducted two search warrants on Wednesday April 16TH for the Paradise Business Center on E. Pinetree Blvd and a local residence at 1079 Summerhill Road.
"We had gotten complaints from the public as well as law enforcement and other politicians about the business in Thomasville so we had gotten complaints from different sources," said Cindy Ledford, GBI Commercial Gambling Unit.
After searching the home and the internet cafe GBI found evidence of equipment as well as money related to an illegal gambling operation taking place. Emmanuel Athitakis was arrested and an arrest warrant has been issued for Manso Emmanuel Athitakis.
Local business owners next to the internet cafe said they're relieved the business has been busted.
"Now that they're gone hopefully for good, I will have some peace I can enjoy coming and running my business without worrying about the everyday headaches of dealing with some of the characters out here," said Raymond Austin
Austin who owns the Top Shelf liquor store next store to the internet cafe said it was affecting his business and his customers.
"Being a business owner myself I try to keep things upstanding and this type of business brings an element of the community that's not the best," said Austin.
GBI said bust is part of a state wide crack down on illegal gambling operations.
News Release: GBI
Thomasville, GA – On Wednesday,April 16, 2014, the GBI’s Commercial Gambling Unit, along with the Thomasville Police Department,executed two search warrants for violations of Georgia’s commercial gambling laws. Warrants were served at the Paradise Business Center on E. Pinetree Blvd and a residence located at 1079 Summerhill Road in Thomasville. The Paradise Business Center was operating as an internet café. During the course of a lengthy undercover investigation, agents discovered customers were receiving cash payouts for winning credits after playing the computer games, a violation of Georgia law.
While searching both locations, the GBI collected evidence, to include records and equipment, as well as monetary assets related to crimes of commercial gambling. Emmanuel Athitakis, 71, of 1079 Summerhill Road, Thomasville was arrested and charged with one count of Commercial Gambling. An arrest warrant has also been issued for Manso Emmanuel Athitakis, 46,charging him with Commercial Gambling. Manso Athiakis, who has not been arrested, has residences in Miami, Florida and Thomasville, Georgia.