10 April 2018


Athens, 10 April 2018


Despite the ongoing search efforts, 13-year-old Thanasis has not been found yet. We expect that Police Authorities will intensify their investigation in order to trace the boy and bring him back to the Home of “The Smile of the Child”, where he had found a true family over the past 4 years.

The 13-year-old boy went missing on Friday, the 13th of March 2018 in the area of Peristeri in Athens and on the same day “The Smile of the Child” activated the Amber Alert mechanism.

The people of “The Smile of the Child” agonize day and night and make every possible effort hoping that Thanasis will be traced and return soon.

Intense search efforts are made in Greece and abroad in cooperation with the prosecutorial authorities, the Hellenic Police, Interpol, the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt, the European Federation for Missing and Exploited Children (Missing Children Europe) as well as partners of “The Smile of the Child” in the field of missing and abducted minors.

At the same time, missing posters were distributed to airports, border and custom stations, sea ports as well as police vehicles across the country following the activation of the Amber Alert.

It is worthwhile to mention that this is one of the few cases that a search operation for a missing child has not brought any result at all, whereas part of the information provided by the family environment of the child is confusing by misleading the ongoing investigation and search efforts.

Sadly, the lack of important information and the misled investigative efforts lead to the conclusion that Thanasis has most probably travelled abroad. If this is the case, the question now raised is how a child could travel from one country to another following the report of his disappearance and the search efforts.

According to the existing indications, the disappearance of the boy resembles to a well organized operation for the abduction of a child who over the past 4 years had found at the family of “The Smile of the Child” the safety, care and love that every child deserves.

All those people from the Home, his school, his basketball team and the neighborhood who love Thanasis look forward to welcoming him back to an environment of safety and warmth.

Anyone who has any information can contact –even anonymously- “The Smile of the Child”, available 24 hours a day, the European Hotline for Missing and Exploited Children 116000, as well as any police department in Greece.

“The Smile of the Child”, with the help of the media, the authorities, the various bodies and ordinary citizens has managed to mobilize the entire Greek society and to locate many missing children. The publication of the missing child’s case from the media and social media usually plays a crucial role.

The participation of all helps to locate the children at risk, as the disappearance of a child irrespective of his/her color, origin or religion is a very serious issue regardless of the reason it occurs.

“The Smile of the Child”, in the framework of its international partnerships, has the know-how to handle with professionalism and expertise the cases of missing children. Find out more about the international partnerships of the Organization here.

Learn more about Amber Alert Hellas here.

For more information, please contact:
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
European Hotline for Missing Children 116 000