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Three arrested for draining loans from Postbank

09 January 2014 / 19:01:52  GRReporter
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Three arrested, seven arrest warrants and twenty-five defendants is the result of the months-long judicial investigation of the case of obtaining illegal loans from Postbank which had been initiated by publications in the press.

Last night the police arrested in Athens and Thessaloniki three men aged 47, 48 and 75. The defendants include businessman and owner of Alpha TV Dimitris Kondominas, whose room in the hospital, is already guarded by policemen and former head of the bank Angelos Filipidis.

The investigation began on 3 June 2013 by order of prosecutor for corruption cases Eleni Raikou and conducted by her assistant Popi Papandreou. According to a report presented at the end of the pre-trial investigation, the 25 defendants will have to assume responsibility for the following charges:

- Fraud against the state committed under particularly aggravating circumstances. According to the penal code, the specific term stands for a criminal action in which the perpetrator benefitted from an object of particularly high value and the loss incurred by the state exceeds the amount of 150,000 euro.

- Multiple frauds the result of which is property damage exceeding the amount of 30,000 euro.

- Complicity in a fraud.

- Legalisation of proceeds from illegal activities (money laundering).

- Complicity in money laundering under aggravating circumstances described in a separate article of the law applicable in cases when the perpetrator is a bank employee.

The department of the Bank of Greece responsible for the control of the banking system has issued five reports on the case and the investigation has affected all "problem" loans granted between 2007 and 2012.

The prosecutors have detected many cases of over-financing of companies and businessmen who obviously had not met the requirements for obtaining a loan. The management and staff of Postbank in turn had broken the law to the detriment of the assets of the bank and the state, which have not yet been restored.

Prosecutor Popi Papandreou has detected cases of legalisation of revenue obtained through the specific illegal loans, the amounts of which had been hidden in offshore companies or used to purchase property abroad. The total losses for the bank in this case amount to 400-500 million euro.

According to court sources, the loans amounting to millions of euro had been granted without sufficient guarantees on the part of the recipients and in violation of the law by the head of Postbank. The money had not been used for investment but for the personal benefit of the businessmen since none of the loans had been used for the purposes for which it had been obtained.

The same sources claim that the fraud is related to the purchase of a credit card company by Postbank, the manager of which had selected a particular businessman. The losses for the bank in this case amount to 100 million euro. Other sources state that the board members of the bank had been misled about the product they had bought due to which the losses had increased several times.

Two of the defendants in the case have already appeared before the prosecutor. Businessman Dimitris Kondominas has requested a postponement of his testimony. The term defined by the court is next Tuesday. In a statement to the media, he argues that his business activities are legal and the loans obtained by consortium Demco, the board of which he manages, are fully covered by his personal property.

Kondominas is still in a private clinic where he has been undergoing medical treatment for the past two days. Today investigator George Andreadis and a forensic doctor who had to check his health condition visited him. According to the Greek news agency AMNA, which refers to legal sources, the doctor said that in order for him to issue an official document, Kondominas should be transferred to a state hospital.

The businessman was born in 1939 in Athens. He graduated from the American University in Beirut and then started working as an insurer. In 1969 he established, along with Alexandros Tambouras the insurance company Interamerican the board of which he chairs even today.

Over the years he has established or bought the following companies: Interbank which was later taken over by Eurobank, Intertech – the exclusive distributor of Panasonic products in Greece, the private clinic Evrokliniki, Novabank which was renamed Millennium Bank in 2006, Interjet aeroplanes and helicopters, the organic farming company GreenFarm, 100% of the shares of Alpha TV and Alpha radio 98.9, cinemas Village Roadshow Greece, TV Channel 9 in Athens and Alpha radio 98.9 in Thessaloniki and he was the owner of basketball club Aris from 1998 to 2001.

For his part, former head of Postbank Angelos Filipidis who is also involved in the investigation said he was ready to stand before the judicial authorities to provide explanations for the granted loans. He said he was on a planned trip abroad that was supposed to last about a month but added that he would return to Athens next week.

Tags: Crime newsLoansPostbankDrainingInvestigationArrestsBusinessmenDimitris KondominasAngelos Filipidis
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