Greek Scandal Bank Ex-Chief Caught in Turkey



Former Hellenic Postbank President Angelos Filippides
Former TT bank chief Angelos Filippides has 1.5 million euros in “unjustifable” income in his account

As a probe into bad loans given out by the state-run Hellenic Postbank (TT) has allegedly discovered a widespread ring of officials handing out money to businessmen who pocketed it, the institution’s former President,  Angelos Filippides was arrested in Turkey where he was caught because he kept using his mobile phone to call Greek TV stations to defend himself.

An arrest warrant against Angelos Filippidis was turned into an international one on Friday, and Turkish authorities tracked down and arrested him in Istanbul the same day, in cooperation with Greek authorities.

Filippides had been all over Greek news for days on TV, saying he would return to explain what had happened to the bank when he was heading it, but investigators said they’ve uncovered a raft of evidence that the bank was used as a kind of personal ATM for the already rich and connected who got loans without guarantees or collateral and didn’t repay it.

At least 1.5 million euros in “unjustifiable” income has been found in bank accounts in Filippidis’s name, media reports said. The failing bank was put into liquidation last year, another victim of bank scandals in which officials had been accused of using their institutions to benefit themselves and their friends.

A report carried out by inspectors of the Bank of Greece into millions of euros in loans issued by the state-controlled Hellenic Postbank (TT) in 2008 and 2009 discovered that the lender repeatedly violated its own credit issue policy to give the loans, often with the proceeds ending up in the personal bank accounts of some of the business owners.

The bank is used by many civil servants who have often been unable to get small loans, with the report suggesting that it was used instead to benefit a few well-connected.

According to the central bank’s report, extracts of which were seen by Kathimerini, TT issued loans without guarantees and without updated financial data, offering favorable terms – including low interest rates and long grace periods – to several companies, in some cases to overindebted ones.

Two loans worth 17 million euros that were issued to businessman Kyriakos Griveas – one of 25 people charged with fraud and money laundering in connection to the TT scandal – ended up in the personal bank accounts of Griveas and his wife, according to the BoG report.

A larger loan, of 97.3 million euros, was extended to the pharmaceutical firm Alapis, one of several companies owned by entrepreneur Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, without any guarantee whatsoever, the report added.

Lavrentiadis was also the principal shareholder in the Proton Bank that failed because of bad loans. He has been jailed awaiting trial on charges of corruption.

Alpha television channel and Interamerican insurance firm owner Dimitris Kontominas, has been linked to a joint credit card venture with TT, which resulted in estimated losses of 150 million euros for the state bank.

Kontominas, 75, is to defend himself before an investigating magistrate on Jan. 14. He has been under police guard at an Athens hospital where he was admitted week with breathing problems. He issued a statement saying he had done nothing wrong and that his accounts were performing and being paid back.

Griveas, who lives abroad, has yet to respond to the warrant out for his arrest.

Another former  executive of the bank, who is currently head of the country’s bank bailout fund, known as the HFSF, has also been caught up in the scandal.

Anastasia Sakellariou was a member of the TT committee that handled the restructuring of two loans that are now under investigation by prosecutors. The HFSF put out a statement defending her, saying that the restructurings were “in line with common banking practice,” even though the Bank of Greece said they were not.

Despite the seriousness of the accusations, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, the New Democracy Conservative party leader, has given his support to Sakellariou after earlier saying there would be no leniency for political figures or government appointees even charged with wrongdoing.

Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras backed Sakellariou after opposition party calls for her to resign. “I fully trust and respect Greece’s justice system, but I also fully trust Mrs. Sakellariou, her integrity, her professional expertise and, above all, her work so far,” Stournaras said. He didn’t explain what he meant by “so far.”


11 COMMENTS

  1. So many Greeks in high places are just criminals! Nice to know that he runs back to his ancestral land to blend in with his cousins

  2. I applaud catching him and the ongoing investigation of the other criminals. Rats are getting caught. Staggering. The greed among these people to steal in these positions all over Greece. Is one person, just one CLEAN? Doubt it.
    When I repeatedly say LAMOGIA- (crooks and thieves) that have destroyed Greece-bankrupted I really mean it in the literal sense 100%.

  3. Strongmenabc, since 1984 and I have been saying this long before you or before anyone else and they turned against me accusing of being crazy. It’s about time to clean politics from corrupt politicians as well. Greece needs a fresh start away from murky waters…It’s now or never…

  4. Enormous uninsured loans to the politically connected for 17 million!. . . one dole-out alone for 97 million!. . . “business connections” with the [State-run] Hellenic Bank (TT). . . a credit card venture which lost 150 million. . . Yeah, “lost it.”

    It’s time like these you wish law enforcement and penalties for crime in Greece were handled by a Kremlin-like system. These bad boys might have thought twice if their predecessors and politician role models were out 20 years in the ice breaking rocks in Siberia for cheating their countrymen.

    And all this BS is being discovered daily as our linked-up government have reduced salaries 40%, laid off thousands, and cut our senior citizens pensions–all to cover their own and their banking friends’ greed.

    Do you suppose the missing 250 million euros from bank accounts set up by the green and blue politcical parties–which were also never insured, and now unaccounted for are any different from this story? Where is the investigation? Where is the outrage? Why are not the criminals who headed up those political parties and colluded with the banks being questioned in an iron cage?

  5. Where to does the American trash in high placse run to when caught out???
    Back to their mansion in their private jets after a slap on the wrist from Obama!!!
    In FYROM they don”t get caught as their population is 99% serfdom!!

  6. In Greece today we have 2 “Criminal Gangs” from PASOK and New
    Democracy Parties running a government of Thieves, Liars & Crooks who
    worked wil all these “corrupt Bankers” and created all these problems today.

    It was PASOK & ND Parties who created all the financial problems in Greece
    by their corrupt rule and mismanagement– (Akis Tzahadzopolous and Yiannos
    Papantoniou are ex-MPs from PASOK who are an example of their horrific
    corruption).

    1.) Why isn’t PASOK’s MP Venizelos in jail for hiding the Legarde List 2 years
    in his home? And what about Venizelos’ controversial submarine bribery deal, he
    signed in 2010?

    2.) Why isn’t PASOK’s Finance MP Papconstantiou in jail for removing his
    relative’s names on the List?

    3.) What about PASOK & ND Parties still owing 250 million Euros to the
    Banks in phony loans they have not paid back a penny yet?

    4.) What about Health Minister Georgiades who got caught cheating on his taxes
    the other day and was let off with a minor fine of 1200 Euros. Whys is he still
    a Minister and not fired??

    5.) Why aren’t Kyriakos Mitsotakis and his sister Dora in jail after taking
    BRIBES from Seimens?

    It seems to me the Gov’t and Press here is using ANYTHING as a DISTRACTION and blaming everyone else to take attention away from the Massive Crimes these two corrupt Parties have committed as well as Treason against the whole Greek nation after 39 years of corrupt rule– They MUST ALL BE IMPEACHED and JAILED for high crimes and HIGH TREASON against the Greek People and State!

  7. It is OUTRAGEOUS there is no investigation here in Greece as to WHERE the 250 million in loans to PASOK & ND went ! Where is the Justice and the Press Media here in Greece to start ASKING serious questions about where the 250 million went to & who got it in their GREEDY Pockets???
    What a “Fraud and a Farce” both the Greek Press and Justice Ministry is!

  8. Keep your list going, Bob. There’s going to be a day of reckoning.

    As forgiving and blind as the Greek people were for the past 40 years–caulking and enabling their thieving leaders (as they really believed there was something in it for them), and thanks in great part to a propaganda machine they call the press here, those days are over.

    Look at the facts PASOK and ND are dead in the water and face so many scandals that it will take a generation to prosecute them, just like war criminals. Mr. Liapis, the laughing stock of their ilk did a great injustice to them all by simply doing what he was alwasy prone to do–fu*king up.
    The climate here now and the temperature of the people is very near the “pitchfork point”. As these banking scandals unravel and people begin yodeling to save their own ass, the pieces will come together nicely for the next wave of arbitrators not directly connected to the old food chain.

    Having Greece trying to manage the helm of the EU (stay tuned) will be a great asset to transparency–something that was completely lacking in the past and is still practically non-existent here in these days before massive transition.

    Keep fighting the good fight. Truth will prevail. The oligarchy here has almost run its course. It’s now going to be a wider net to catch people (see example above) and hopefully more of the “lost” cash will be traced.

    As they say the two hardest things to hide are love and money. Just look for the mansions, yachts, and hideaways in Malaysia.

  9. Vileda & Vaseline…isn’t that the name of the new opera playing at Scopia Opera House??
    Hahahahahaha!!

  10. Greece needs a new start I agree with you! NON GREEKS need to come in and rule the country. New laws need to be put in place and the country needs to be under EU-IMF CONTROL. Greeks running Greece will lead to nowhere.