Greece Will Seize Ex-Minister’s Foreign Properties



As former  Greek defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos remains in detention during an ongoing probe into charges he stole as much as 1 billion euros, or $1.27 billion, from defense contracts when he was in office, a magistrate investigating the alleged money-laundering racket is ready to seize $12.7 million worth of his properties, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

Tsochatzopoulos has denied charges he misused his power for personal gain, although a mountain of evidence is building against him, prosecutors said. Magistrate Gavriil Mallis is set to move against the former PASOK Socialist top minister if the investigation shows that the properties – all located abroad – are linked to him, the newspaper said, adding that six more suspects have been linked to the holdings although it’s unclear whether they are relatives or close associates of his, as others have been.

The investigation also showed that he paid hundreds of thousands of euros to fly Greeks in from the Black Sea area and Russia to vote for PASOK – it’s a common practice in Greece to buy votes by offering jobs in return as well – and that he bought 1,150 season tickets for the ailing Thessaloniki PAOK soccer team.

Authorities also said they have proof that the former minister engaged in grand money laundering and bribery schemes around a series of defense contracts for missiles and submarines, jacking up their cost to the taxpayers by hundreds of millions of euros in kickbacks.

They said bank data showed that he made at least $127 million in bribes from the purchase of those contracts while he was minister from 1998-2001, sources told the newspaper, and that he received 13 million euros, or $16.8 million during the previous decade for the sale of several properties through offshore firms to the scandalized Vatopedi Monastery on Mount Athos. They also said there is another network of offshore firms and bank accounts yet to be investigated.


1 COMMENT

  1. Its funny because the rightwing and “capitalism” keeps getting blamed for Greece’s debt problems but the reality is leftists are the biggest crooks of all.

    This is why government should be small. This way people keep the money they earned by fairly creating something and fairly trading services volentarily… rather than crooks in government (and greedy voters that they bribe) using other people’s hard earned money to fund themselves.

    Not every leftist is dishonest crook but what the honest ones fail to understand is situations like our current debt problems and corruption is what happens when there is too much government involvement. Human nature is what it is. There is nothing wrong with a few services but first comes free market production to produce enough to justify more spending. Some leftist Greeks produce nothing but think they are entitled to live like welfare queens or like Americans.

    Get off your lazy silver spoon rioting asses and focus on entrepreneurship, getting skills, and increasing productivity to earn more fair and square. Have more respect for yourselves beyond parasitically expecting others to give you money.