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The Office for Combating Economic Crimes summons 49 people from the "Lagarde" list

02 March 2013 / 18:03:29  GRReporter
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49 people of those on the "Lagarde" list have been invited to show documents proving their rights over the accounts in HSBC Bank in Geneva. The list of individuals was provided to the investigating committee in Parliament by Deputy Director of the Regional Directorate of the Office for Combating Economic Crimes Petros Mandouvalos, who took over the investigation. Subpoenas were issued for 49 people who own or operate bank accounts amounting to between 3 million dollars and 555 million dollars.

These subpoenas were sent in February and recipients must provide the required documents within five days after receipt. Amounts were not listed, but data of companies and accounts, according to the "Lagarde" list. These 49 people include several representatives of the families Martinos, Kalitsis, Rokas, Metaxas, Frangistas, Kritsas, Ikonomou, Douni and Dimitris Gertsos, Dionysis Matzoros, Marina Panayiotou Iliadis, Venetsianos Kakavas, Solomondas Levy, Mariana Fix and other individuals.

Meanwhile, members of the investigative committee will send a letter to Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras with the request that the Office for Combating Economic Crimes hire additional staff, in order for it to be able to check the "Lagarde" list quickly. Another letter to the Union of Greek Banks reads that the banks should immediately send both electronically and as documentation all data requested by the Office. A third letter will be sent to economic prosecutors insisting that relatives of George Papaconstantinou, whose names are missing from the original list, be investigated as priority. The reason for this is what Control Director of the Office for Combating Economic Crimes, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, said regarding the Office’s problems. According to him, the Office’s investigation of the "Lagarde" list will take time, since there are no employees and the Office is overburdened with work. Meanwhile, former Control Director of the Office Nikos Lekas denied once again the notion that it was him who linked Margarita Papandreou to the specific account on the list.

On Friday, in response to a question from SYRIZA MP Panagiotis Lafazanis, Deputy Finance Minister George Mavraganis said that the results of the checks on taxpayers on the "Lagarde" list would be available in the immediate future and Parliament would be notified as soon as possible. According to him, the inspection of the list that includes 2,062 cases started after a prosecutor’s order and after the tax identification of 1,681 individuals and 40 legal entities ended. He added that the next step included opening of the accounts and comparison of incomes declared in recent years. "We have requested information and the process is expected to be completed soon, in parallel with the inspection of taxpayers who were called upon to provide the necessary documents for clarifying the case," added Mavraganis.

SYRIZA: inspections are late

Elaborating on his question, Lafazanis told the government that, five months after sending the full "Lagarde" list, inspections of the people on it were late in coming and the Treasury received no revenues. The deputy from SYRIZA reckoned that this was an attempt to hide the responsibility of senior officials with the excuse that said list did not really matter, since no revenues for the state would derive from it. "You have an auriferous source and you do not use it. At the same time, your policy to combat tax evasion is failing, together with the state," added Lafazanis. He noted that sending letters to the listed persons caused legal problems and asked whether the government was doing it on purpose.

In response Mavraganis said that the government had reacted with drastic measures to problems and stressed that the investigation had been initiated by prosecutor’s demand. He said that inspections were advancing rapidly, despite the gaps in state mechanisms. The Deputy Minister added that the Office was appointing new staff. He explained that tax identification was not easy and the fact that 83% of individuals and businesses had been identified in a short time was proof that checks were continuing.

Tags: Lagarde list George Mavraganis Panagiotis Lafazanis inspections Office for Combating Economic Crimes
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