More than 1,100 unregistered migrants were arrested and another 4,900 brought in for questioning by police on Saturday in the context of a sweep operation code-named "Xenios Zeus" in the wider Athens area, the Attica Police General Directorate (GADA) announced on Sunday.
Of those arrested, 1,130 did not meeting the legal conditions for residency in Greece, while 52 house searches were also conducted.
A police announcement noted that the police checks would continue daily.
Dendias said that the operation would "take back" Athens and not allow a return to its previous condition (Eurokinissi)
Indeed, the operation is set to continue in central Athens on Monday in the environs of Omonoia Square, Monastiraki, Vathys Square and the Pedion tou Areos park vicinity.
Public Order and Citizens' Protection minister Nikos Dendias told a press conference on Saturday that "today is a good day for Greek Police, regarding both the smooth development of the major 'Xenios Zeus' operation and the success in solving the hideous crime on Paros".
He said that the living conditions of the unregistered migrants in the Athens center were a shameful, noting that entire areas of Athens have been turned into a no-man's land, rife with drug trafficking, prostitution, smuggling, theft, serious injuries, murders, and all other types of delinquent behavior.
Dendias stressed that even the area encompassing the famed Athens University, Athens Academy and Athens University Library buildings in downtown Athens, has been turned into a "supermarket" for narcotics, while the environs of Omonoia Square, the 'crossroads' of the Greek capital, has become a center of lawlessness.
The picture of the city centre creates fear and shame for residents and abhorrence to the visitors and tourists, Dendias said, adding that the government, and Dendias personally, could not shut their eyes and not act.
Therefore, at prime minister Antonis Samaras' orders, the 'Xenios Zeus' operation was launched earlier in the week, the minister said.
The purpose of the operation is to restore human dignity to the immigrants, according to Dendias.
"There are no racial criteria, we do not care about the color, nationality or religion of the illegal immigrants. Our only criterion is the observance of legality with absolute respect to the human rights," Dendias said.
He added the operation to "take back" Athens and restore legality will continue, and legality in these areas was "coming to stay" and gradually expand. "We will not allow things to return to the previous chaotic and unacceptable condition".
Dendias also said that beginning Monday, there will be a parallel operation by the financial crimes police to check the legality of the operation of shops, full checks on the issue of receipts, and a clampdown on imitation products. (AMNA)
Greek police released this video of a sweep operation in the early morning hours at Larissis Railway Station in Athens: