Extended multibillion tax evasion in the hands of Greek Financial Crime Division

Extended multibillion tax evasion in the hands of Greek Financial Crime Division

Athens, March 9, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Spiros Sideris

Economic prosecutors and Financial Crime at the order of the Minister of State against Corruption Panagiotis Nikoloudis (photo) began to investigate a “hidden treasure” of several billion euros from major fraud cases, “black money” and corruption, on several lists. A few days ago was completed the electronic consolidation of auditing material accumulated from years of audits from all lists, including Lagarde, Liechtenstein, remittances and foreign property and the Authority for Combating Money Laundering. This was the first and essential step. The integration of data is expected to greatly facilitate the audits through cross-checking, while the auditing work will be coordinated centrally and not lost in the gears of bureaucracy.

With a click of a few keys on their computer the auditors will know for each person audited, by his Tax Registration Number (TRN), in which lists is his name included, and that person’s “open issues” with the Tax Office. For example, a taxpayer may not be on the Lagarde list, but have unduly remittances abroad or possess a property in London, which is not justified by the income declared to the tax office. That is, the system will direct the auditor to the which cases the audit should focus and what to look for.

The next step planned is the creation of a new Body to carry out targeted tax audits, which will consist of “temporary” auditors, while to the “battle” against tax evasion are expected to assist consultants and experts from EU Member States.

The auditors have a lot of work ahead of them, since in the lists there are about 25,000 big cases with “hidden” incomes, which according to first estimates reach EUR 15 billion.

Stopping tax evasion at all levels is a primary objective of the government. However, the focus will be on wealthy tax evaders, with Nikoloudis stressing: “I have nothing against the rich. I am against the dishonest rich. And I’m here to catch them”.

If Nikoloudis managed to collect EUR 2.5 billion from tax evasion by the summer, as he says, then it will be a great success and will send messages both within the country and abroad that the battle for tax evasion and corruption has not only started, but it is effective. Of course, this remains to be proven in practice.

Former Greek Finance Minister: The funds that are investigates by the Financial Crime Division are fully taxed

Fully taxed and registered in Asset Means Declaration for 2014 are the funds, for which the former president of the authority for combating black money and now State Minister for combating corruption, Panagiotis Nikoloudis, asked the House to investigate, says former Finance Minister Gikas Hardouvelis.

According to an article in the Real News, Nikoloudis with urgent and confidential documents on January 20, 2015 is asking the House to investigate the Asset Means Declaration of former Minister of Finance.

The confidential document that was sent by Nikoloudis in Parliament contains details of how Gikas Hardouvelis was sending money abroad.

As is clear from the document, the money were being sent abroad in amounts from 7700 to 9800 dollars, since amounts exceeding 10,000 activate the control of the Central Bank of Greece. For this reason, during the period between May 5 and June 14, 2012, 56 money transfers were made abroad!

In addition, it is reported that Hardouvelis sent a large sum of money abroad when he was stepping down from his position as head of the financial office of the then Prime Minister Loukas Papademos, between the election of 05-05-2012 and the re-runs on 17-6-2012.