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Bankers arrested for illegal loans

09 January 2014 / 11:01:19  GRReporter
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Over 15 arrest warrants for former heads of Postbank as well as for businessmen who had improperly drained millions from the bank have been issued by investigator George Andreadis and prosecutor Eleni Raikou. Former CEO Kleon Papadopoulos and former vice chairman Marios Varotsis are already in custody. Currently, the police forces are raiding the houses of the other wanted bankers and businessmen.
    According to the case file, on which prosecutor Popi Papandreou has also worked, the amount of illegal loans granted in the period 2006-2011 was 500 million euro, 200 million euro of which by Postbank and the remaining 300 million euro by another 10 banks. The Bank of Greece and the service fighting money laundering have cooperated too, especially in the case of Postbank.

    According to the Bank of Greece, the case file should not include the businessmen who had guaranteed the loans with their personal property but only those who had obtained loans without guarantees. Among them is a family wanted by the authorities for obtaining a loan of 20 million euro.

   On 20 February 2014, former Postbank CEO Kleon Papadopoulos was released from custody having testified in the case of the bank loans granted and was banned from leaving Greece.

   Mr. Papadopoulos, who succeeded Angelos Filipidis at the helm of the financial institution, was accused of misconduct in the performance of his duties to the degree of felony.

   In particular, the charge relates to the approval of a loan and two restructurings in favour of a businessperson against whom the authorities have brought charges in the case.

   In his testimony Papadopoulos said that the loan and its restructurings were fully protected since the submitted bank guarantee exceeded its value several times, as reported by Naftemporiki newspaper.

   The lawyers for the accused believe that "the case is being instigated, as the penal prosecutions were accompanied by arrest warrants and a lot of fuss, thus creating disproportionate expectations in the public opinion." On the other hand, the prosecutors advise for patience because the procedure is not completed, insisting that reality cannot be distorted. The bank has been defrauded but the Greek taxpayer will have to pay bill. ‘If everything was correct, how had we ended up in this situation?" they conclude, adds To Vima newspaper.
    One of the wanted businessmen is Kyriakos Griveas and his wife, who have companies operating in the healthcare sector and who, over the past three years, have lived in London. The authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for them. Another wanted businessman is owner of Alpha TV Dimitris Kondominas. The TV station however states that Kondominas is not aware of the case and that there will be an official response when he is officially informed about it. According to some media, the entrepreneur is currently undergoing hospital treatment due to respiratory problems. The police are now guarding his hospital room.
    According to a report of the consulting firm BlackRock, commissioned by the Bank of Greece, which is still classified and not yet officially published, over 50 percent of the loans in Greece were illegally granted, without the relevant guarantees. It is expected that the report will be officially presented by the end of January.
    Postbank is the third major Greek bank that has collapsed under the weight of large-scale schemes for money draining and for creating credit millionaires. The first was Proton Bank of businessman Laurentios Laurentiadis and the second the Agricultural Bank.

Tags: PostbankArrests of bankers and businessmenCredit millionairesKleon PapadopoulosKyriakos GriveasDimitris Kondominas
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