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Digger driver at centre of Ben Needham police probe was successful businessman who ‘knew everyone on the island’

The digger driver suspected of killing Ben Needham [1] was a wealthy businessman protected by a code of silence for 25 years, it is feared. Konstantinos Dino Barkas had a network of contacts all over Kos, the Mirror can reveal. Dino, who died of cirrhosis last year aged 62, was initially quizzed about Ben s disappearance and told police [2] he would chop his arms off so he could never drive again if he had killed 21-month-old Ben. But it is now feared these were hollow words and that he was able to hide a dark secret because he was so well connected on the Greek island where the toddler went missing in 1991. Read More John Alevroyiannis/Daily Mirror Digger driver Kostantinos Barkas A close friend of the Barkas family, who asked not to be identified, said: Everyone on Kos and I mean everyone knew Dino. The owner of a cafe in nearby Kos Town said: He was a very well-known figure in the business community. “He was a very successful businessman involved in the building of many hotels on the island. Despite owning the company he was a very hard worker and didn t mind getting his hands dirty. But he also loved his drink [3] and was a well-known womaniser. Read More Ben Needham has been missing for 25 years Ben s mum Kerry Needham said it would make sense if Dino had people protecting him. Kerry, from Sheffield, said: I thought he was just a poor digger driver, I had no idea he was so connected. “I m now starting to worry there has been a conspiracy of silence around him all these years. I think he was being protected which stopped people coming forward in 25 years. “But now I would appeal to them, to think of my family and the pain we suffered. John Alevroyiannis/Daily Mirror Kostantinos Barkas knew everyone on the island Please, stop being scared and help us find out exactly what happened to my son. Please come forward. Dino was widely known to be a heavy drinker, raising questions over whether he may have been drunk while operating heavy machinery. Despite his wealth Dino spent many days in the cab of his huge digger. He was clearing access for a delivery of concrete on the day Ben went missing, on a building site just 100 yards from the farmhouse where the toddler was playing in the village of Iraklis. When quizzed by the Daily Mirror in 2012 he said: Yes, I was the man with the JCB that day. John Alevroyiannis/Daily Mirror His son Valandis Barkas Loads of earth were being taken to clear the ground for the new house down the road. I think people were misled in thinking the child was abducted. Could there have been an accident? “I don t think so, but no one really knows what happened. But Dino later insisted to his close family that Ben had been abducted. It has been claimed Ben could have been killed in an accident but his body then removed from the scene and buried elsewhere. British police have been looking into the timetable of events leading up to Ben s disappearance. John Alevroyiannis/Daily Mirror Kostantinos Barkas’ grave After Dino s death last year a new witness told police there were two areas of land where building waste had been dumped by Dino which had never been searched. South Yorkshire Police [4] are now due to dig on Kos for a second time. The force confirmed officers will be travelling to Kos this month to work with Greek authorities and start digs at two new sites. Det Supt Matt Fenwick, leading the investigation, said: There will be planned operational activity at two locations on the island that have been identified as areas of interest to the investigation. “We continue to keep an open mind and have updated Ben s family about certain lines of enquiry we re currently exploring. North Downs Picture Agency Konstantinos Barkas A dedicated policing team continues to work extremely hard to find answers for his family and keep them fully informed and supported throughout the investigation. Kerry understands there is a statute of limitations of 20 years in Greek law, and does not believe there will ever be a prosecution for Ben s disappearance or death. Many islanders have reportedly long believed an accident involving construction machinery was the most credible explanation for Ben s disappearance. Shopkeeper Xanthippi Aggrelli, 63, was at school with Dino and got to know the Needhams when she volunteered as their translator in 1991. She told the Mirror: When it happened people were saying that something terrible has happened to the baby boy; some said the truck smashed into him. Daily Mirror Ben Needham vanished in 1991 There was a big Caterpillar truck and a digger. It was the baby s curiosity; he was going there to see. “We heard from many people that it was an accident. It was thought the body was hidden and that is why Ben has never been found. But Dino s family defended him. Son Valandis Barkas, 29, said: My dad lived his life with this hanging over him and I cannot believe they are still hounding him even after his death. “He had nothing to do with Ben s disappearance. Towards the end he was a very ill man, and he was very concerned and worried about everything to do with Ben coming back. It upset him a lot. Andy Stenning/Daily Mirror Kerry Needham and her mother Christine My mother is very, very tired. She lost her husband and now she has to go through all this. “When the British police came here he went up there to the site to help them. “He told them they could look as much as they want but they would not find the little boy there. As far as I know the boy was abducted. That s what my dad always said and that s what our family still believe today. “My father was a very good, honest man. My dad always told the police and prosecutors that there wasn t an accident. Adam Gerrard/Daily Mirror Kerry Needham has been left devastated by the latest development He said the boy was taken away and almost certainly taken to Athens. He added: I hope that Ben is still alive. As a father myself I cannot imagine what his mother is going through. He said his father died from cirrhosis of the liver after suffering from intestinal problems for some time. Dino s brother Ioannis branded the renewed investigation disgusting . He said: My brother is dead he cannot defend himself. Why don t they let his soul rest in peace. I don t understand why they are still chasing Dino. Are they going to take a dead man in to court? Ben Needham References ^ Ben Needham (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ police (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ drink (www.mirror.co.uk) ^ South Yorkshire Police (www.mirror.co.uk)

TruckServices ProFleet Connect: Knorr-Bremse’s telematics solution for commercial vehicles 0

TruckServices ProFleet Connect: Knorr-Bremse’s telematics solution for commercial vehicles

Knorr-Bremse, the world s leading manufacturer of braking systems for commercial vehicles, is to enter into a partnership with UK-based telematics provider Microlise. Together they will be introducing a modular telematics system across Europe. Vehicle operators stand to benefit from extensive safety functions, better vehicle planning and live coaching sessions for drivers. As Dr. Peter Laier, Member of the Executive Board of Knorr-Bremse AG responsible for the Commercial Vehicle Systems division explains: In the future, the individual truck will increasingly become part of an overarching logistics system. Connectivity at multiple levels can lead to a marked improvement in the efficiency of each individual vehicle. With TruckServices ProFleet Connect, we are offering more than just a link between the vehicle and the fleet management system. We are delivering smart services which, based on the collected data, offer added value for fleet operators and drivers alike. And our telematics solution is not only modular, it s also compatible with any make of vehicle. In Microlise we have found a partner who already has working relationships with a whole series of vehicle manufacturers and together with whom we are going to launch our range of attractive products and services for the transport management sector in Europe. Knorr-Bremse TruckServices ProFleet Connect will initially be offering seven packages of products and services. The basic package ensures that a vehicle operator can tell which route their trucks have taken and where they are at any given moment. This package also enables driving characteristics to be evaluated, providing sound foundations for driver training. The six other modules build on the basic package: DriverPlus supports the driver with integrated telephone and navigation functions, and remote download of tachograph information. It also enables job data and route changes to be communicated. SafetyPlus provides instant feedback on safety incidents, such as emergency braking, and stores information about what happened 30 seconds before and after an incident. LogisticsPlus enables real-time tracking of deliveries and if necessary can interface directly with the customer s ERP software to exchange the relevant data. DeliveryPlus provides the basis for documentation of a shipment from start to finish, including photographic evidence of the condition of the freight when picked up and delivered, with dispatch and arrival times. DiagnosticsPlus supplies current vehicle data and delivers status reports. This way, fleet managers can respond in good time if a specific parameter is outside the normal limits. MonitorPlus extends the data package provided by DiagnosticsPlus. From tire pressure to door and temperature sensors in a refrigerated semitrailer, MonitorPlus records all available parameters as required, showing a customer, for example, that the cold chain has never been broken. According to Wolfgang Krinner, Member of the Management Board of Knorr-Bremse Systeme fu r Nutzfahrzeuge: With our telematics solution, vehicle operators can cut costs in several respects, for example by saving fuel, reducing administrative cost and effort or optimizing their driver training. Above all, though, they can bring about a huge improvement in the safety of their drivers and vehicles, and in their quality assurance. TruckServices ProFleet Connect will be launched in 2017 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, before being gradually rolled out across Europe in subsequent years. Knorr-Bremse officially launched the new TruckServices brand at the 2016 automechanika trade fair. TruckServices brings together the full range of the company s aftermarket services, complementing its activities in the original equipment sector. With the gradual expansion of its portfolio, Knorr-Bremse TruckServices is underpinning its claim to provide reliable, economical solutions for diagnostic, maintenance and repair work on commercial vehicles of any type, age or make. Dealers, workshops and fleet managers stand to benefit from these needs-based solutions, as well as from efficient, international parts logistics, plus access to Knorr-Bremse s extensive product and services expertise in the form of online services, training courses and customized advice. In this context, TruckServices works closely with the multi-brand workshop network Alltrucks, successfully established by Knorr-Bremse in collaboration with Bosch and ZF. With currently more than 200 Alltrucks workshops in five European countries, the network offers a comprehensive portfolio of maintenance and repair services for all makes of commercial vehicle. *Automotive World is not responsible for the content of this news release.

Technology Briefs – Sept. 30 0

Technology Briefs – Sept. 30

This briefing can be e-mailed to you every week. Just click here [1] to register. The Latest Headlines: Satellite Radio Remains Popular With Truckers Although XM Satellite Radio Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. are both still unprofitable, they continue to gain popularity among truck drivers, the Washington Post reported Monday. XM estimated that 70,000 of its nearly 1 million subscribers are truck drivers, while Sirius said about 20,000 of its 105,000 subscribers are truckers, according to the Post. XM has cultivated truckers as an audience, creating a channel dedicated to them called Open Road that features lots of country music and talk shows hosted by trucker radio celebrities. It also has given truckers a central place to call to warn other drivers about poor weather and traffic conditions, the Post said. Transport Topics Report: German Truck Toll Plan Delayed Again Toll Collect GmbH, a partnership between DaimlerChrysler AG and Deutsche Telekom AG, now expects to launch Germany’s new automatic highway toll system for trucks in early 2004, Bloomberg reported citing a German television station. Under the system, truckers would be required to pay an average 22 cents a mile when traveling on German highways. It is intended to help pay for autobahn repairs and boost federal revenue, Bloomberg said. The launch of the toll has already been delayed three times. The most recent start date of Nov. 2 was canceled because of problems with the system’s satellite technology. Transport Topics Missouri Increases Use of Biodiesel Public agencies in Missouri are turning to biodiesel, which is made largely from soybeans, instead of regular diesel as pressure grows to cut emissions from their fleets of trucks, the Associated Press reported. The fuel, which can cost anywhere from a nickel to 20 cents a gallon more than traditional diesel, generally is sold in a blend that is 20% biodiesel, known as B20. The state’s Department of Transportation, with a fleet of about 4,500 diesel-powered trucks, is looking to expand its use of the fuel, while Lambert Airport uses it in its snow-removal equipment and fire trucks, AP said. Columbia, Jefferson City and Fort Leonard Wood are among the other areas of the state that have recently stepped up its use of biodiesel. Transport Topics Suit Holds Microsoft Responsible for Viruses Microsoft Corp. was sued for failing to better secure its software against computer viruses and worms, the Washington Post reported Friday. The suit was filed Tuesday in Los Angeles on behalf of a single consumer who claims to be the victim of identity theft as a result of a hacking incident. It is designed to be a class-action case if other consumers with similar claims step forward, the Post said. The suit takes a different approach from previous efforts to claim damages due to software flaws. It argues that because consumers have little choice other than Microsoft software, its failure to provide secure programs constitutes an unfair business practice under California law, according to the Post. In addition to compensation for losses, the suit seeks to require Microsoft to improve security notification. Transport Topics Previous Technology Briefs [2] 2003 , Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc. Reproduction, redistribution, display or rebroadcast by any means without written permission [3] is prohibited. References ^ click here (ttnews.com) ^ Previous Technology Briefs (www.ttnews.com) ^ permission (www.ttnews.com)