Greek Authorities Freeze SKAI Media Owner’s Assets

alafouzos708_14Greek authorities on Wednesday proceeded with freezing the assets of businessman Yiannis Alafouzos, following tax audits that showed 50 million euros that were not justified.

Alafouzos is a ship owner and also owns Skai television, SKAI radio and the newspaper Kathimerini. He is also president of Panathinaikos football club. On Wednesday, financial crimes prosecutor Panayiotis Athanasiou ordered the freezing of all moveable and immovable wealth of Alafouzos. An order for the freezing has been sent to the banks as well.

Following a tax audit, Alafouzos had difficulty to justify to the Tax Control Center for Big Wealth (KEFOMEP) the amount of 50 million euros for the 2000-2012 period. The probe is part of an effort by Greek authorities to discover cases of tax evasion.

According to information, Alafouzos was summoned by KEFOMEP to explain the discrepancies in his financial statements, but was unable to provide a convincing case for the 50 million euros. The businessman insisted that all the incomes came from his shipping activities abroad.

Alafouzos said on Wednesday that he “welcomed” a probe into his financial activities by the Greek authorities. He claimed that the probe is one of a number of attacks against his business interests emanating from “known centers” but said he will cooperate with authorities.

“The only activities I have in Greece are the investments I’ve made in the media for 26 years and continue to do so today, and my participation in the last four years in Panathinaikos,” Alafouzos said in his statement, hinting that it is suspicious that the probe comes right before the TV license tender.