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Ministry of Finance Secretary General to the prosecutor for fuel smuggling

23 November 2011 / 16:11:23  GRReporter
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In a surprising move for all, the economic deputy prosecutor Spyros Mouzakitis summoned the Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance and former head of the body for combatting financial crimes. Yannis Kapeleris will have to give explanations as a suspect in the case of non-enforcement of fines to the amount of € 15 million imposed for fuel smuggling.
According to sources, the Secretary General was summoned by the judicial authorities on the basis of the testimony of former Secretary General of the Ministry of Finance Diomidis Spinelis before the appeal prosecutor. To them, he states that the institution has not demanded payment of fines by some business owners of fuel companies, although control authorities confirmed the fines.

Asked by the economic deputy prosecutor if this was the reason for his resignation from the post of Secretary General, Diomidis Spinelis replied that he did not know. At the same time, he presented the documents he had submitted to Yanis Kapeleris, but he, in turn, did not forward them to the prosecutor, as required. According to Spinelis, the official explanation of Yannis Kapeleris was that he had not submitted the data, because a new legal framework for the sale of fuels was expected. In August, he issued an order for the suspension of collection of fines until the enforcement of the new legislative measure. Now, Yanis Kapeleris will be responsible to justice for crimes of the highest degree, among which misleading performance of official duties.

"The prosecutor’s decision to summon me to give explanations is correct," said the Secretary General of the financial institution, Yannis Kapeleris, for Real FM radio. However, he immediately added that the specific amounts do not apply to fines confirmed or fines imposed by the body to combat financial crimes of smuggling or tax evasion. According to Yannis Kapeleris, it is about data in the "Ifestos" electronic system that fuel retailers and suppliers of heating oil entered in the system with delay. "If someone enters data with delay again, the system automatically does not accept them. Therefore, together with representatives of fuel traders we decided to introduce fines that are more rational. Our aim was to prevent thousand of companies from exiting the system," he said.

For ANTENNA TV, he said that under the current regulations for the specific violations, the fine is five times the difference in taxes between diesel and heating fuel, and that offenders were written off when committing the same offence.

"The electronic system found 3500 companies in 2010 and as many again in 2011, which had updated the data with delay. During the summer and on the eve of the new tax year, we received requests from professional organizations to solve this problem. We are talking about late updates and fines that have not yet been imposed, but impending. We also had to solve the problem of throwing 3500 firms out of the system that would be absent from the market."

Fines on owners of petrol stations are imposed as follows: Companies are required to enter in the electronic system, "Ifestos", data on their fuel buying and selling at frequent intervals. The system was developed in 2008 to electronically monitor sales of heating oil.

Under the law at that time, petrol station owners bought the oil with high excise duty and subsequently, sold it to consumers with low excise duty. They were refunded with the difference between the two excise duties calculated on the data for the amount of the fuel bought and sold entered in the system. In early 2011, the system was changed. Petrol station owners purchase the fuel directly at low excise duty and therefore no payment procedure of excise duty difference is provided . However, the obligation to enter the data in a timely manner in the "Ifestos" system through the introduction of all invoices continues to be valid.

"We have not issued a document to cancel fines. We have not deleted anything," said Yannis Kapeleris, adding that it is not possible to take an update of an electronic system as a smuggling activity. In his opinion, Diomidis Spinelis’ resignation has nothing to do with this case.


Tags: Crime newsProsecutorSecretary General of the Ministry of FinanceSmugglingFuelFinesHeating oilExcise duty
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