A business owner who owns several bars and restaurants on Patmos beat up a tax inspector who visited the island to conduct audits as part of an effort to curb tax evasion in tourist areas.
According to witnesses who spoke on Star television, a group of auditors from the Independent Authority for Public Renevue (AADE) arrived on the Patmos Port on Saturday to run random checks on businesses. A man approached them and asked them if they are tax auditors. One of the auditors replied that they are. Then the man started slapping him and punching him in the head.
Witnesses said that the police station is next to the point where the incident took place and that police officers saw what happened. However, they did not intervene. When the AADE auditors asked the police to arrest the man, they said that the incident took place in the Port Authority jurisdiction.
The AADE agents went to the Port Authority offices to report the beating, but, again, they were told that their duties are limited to the port and policing on the island is not their responsibility.
Finally the AADE men called on the agency’s director Giorgos Pitsilis who in turn contacted Shipping Minister Panagiotis Kouroumblis and Deputy Citizen Protection Minister Nikos Toskas. The two ministers intervened and local authorities were given the order to arrest the businessman. The man was taken to custody.
According to local media when the businessman was taken to the Patmos Police Station, he produced papers that he has been hospitalized at a psychiatric clinic.