Key TT sus­pect reeled in

Ex-chair­man of lender that is­sued mil­lions in un­se­cured loans to face mag­is­trate

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

The for­mer chair­man of Hel­lenic Postbank (TT), An­ge­los Filip­pidis, was ex­pected to de­fend him­self be­fore a mag­is­trate this week in con­nec­tion with a scan­dal link­ing the state lender to mil­lions of eu­ros in un­se­cured loans fol­low­ing his ar­rest in Is­tan­bul late on Fri­day.

With the help of Turk­ish au­thor­i­ties, Greek po­lice traced Filip­pidis to a ho­tel in Tak­sim Square and de­tained him on an in­ter­na­tional ar­rest war­rant.

The au­thor­i­ties traced the for­mer bank chair­man us­ing his cell phone sig­nal, po­lice said. Sources said he had on him more than 25,000 eu­ros in six dif­fer­ent and a Swiss res­i­dence per­mit.

Filip­pidis ex­pressed sur­prise at his ar­rest, not­ing that he had con­tacted Greek me­dia, and the mag­is­trate han­dling the probe, last week and had booked a flight to Athens for to­day. Filip­pidis re­peat­edly de­nied any wrong­do­ing in sev­eral phone calls to the Greek me­dia last week, in­sist­ing that he would jus­tify “each and ev­ery one” of the loans un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

A to­tal of 25 peo­ple have been charged with fraud and money laun­der­ing in con­nec­tion with the scan­dal mir­ing TT, which is­sued half a bil­lion eu­ros in sus­pi­cious loans be­tween 2007 and 2012, ac­cord­ing to a prose­cu­tor’s re­port. The bulk of this – some 300 mil­lion eu­ros in loans – was is­sued be­tween the fall of 2008 and fall 2009, when Filip­pidis was at the lender’s helm, ac­cord­ing to Bank of Greece in­spec­tors. Ac­cord­ing to a BoG re­port, TT is­sued loans with­out guar­an­tees and with fa­vor­able terms to sev­eral com­pa­nies, some overindebted ones, with much of the money end­ing up in the per­sonal bank ac­counts of some of the busi­ness own­ers who ben­e­fited.

Sev­eral prom­i­nent busi­ness­man have been em­broiled in the scan­dal, in­clud­ing Al­pha TV chan­nel and In­teramer­i­can insurance firm owner Dim­itris Kon­tom­i­nas, Kyr­i­akos Griveas and Lavren­tis Lavren­tiadis, who is in pre­trial cus­tody for em­bez­zle­ment re­lat­ing to another case.

Ac­cord­ing to pros­e­cu­tors, 17 mil­lion eu­ros in loans given to Griveas was traced to bank ac­counts in his name and that of his wife while part of the 110 mil­lion eu­ros given to Kon­tom­i­nas was used by the lat­ter to pur­chase a prop­erty for his daugh­ter in the United King­dom. Kon­tom­i­nas is due face a mag­is­trate tomorrow.

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