Greek Financial Crime Units Seize Assets and Freeze Bank Accounts of 121 Tax Evaders

Posted by in Economy

Banks accounts with ten of millions of euro and undisclosed amounts in foreign currency, shares in the stock exchange of Athens and New York, luxury properties, investments in insurance companies. All these assets of 121 persons and companies have been seized and bank accounts were frozen by the Financial Crimes Units (SDOE) of the Greek Finance Ministry. An action by the book as requested in cases of large scale tax evasion.

 Assets frozen in 121 cases of tax evasion

“The Financial Crimes Unit (SDOE) said Thursday that it has frozen bank accounts, shares and properties in 121 tax evasion cases as part of a bid to raise revenue.

The action followed a probe into cases of bogus invoices, non-issuance of receipts and withheld value added tax. Tens of millions of euros were found in the frozen accounts, the Finance Ministry said, adding that assets include shares listed on the Athens and New York bourses, as well as luxury properties.

“Tolerance of tax evaders, no matter how high up they are, is over,” Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said. “SDOE has orders to seize the assets of those who rob the state and its citizens, who are suffering an unprecedented crisis.”

Meanwhile, it emerged that SDOE is perusing a list of 54,000 Greeks who sent money abroad between 2009 and 2011 to locate cases of tax evasion or money laundering. Some 20 billion euros were taken out of local banks and sent abroad in this period.” (ekathimerini)

What? Tens of millions of euros in assets, luxury investments and tax evasion? Name and shame them now! Otherwise, we’d think, it’s just a PR trick before the new austerity measures are announced and we’ll get 20% poorer -again.

Then between “seize” and “confiscation” many years can pass, not to mention a possible arrangement with the authorities or a trial.

Greek foreign ministry seizes the assets in case tax evaders would not pay imposed penalties and the taxes but rather try to dispose assets or transfer money abroad. 

PS SDOE made also a tax-evasion safari at the concert of  US rock group Red Hot Chilli Peppers to days ago in Athens. Unauthorized sellers of paraphernalia such as hats, light sticks and flags were fined up to 5,000 euros each, according to a government press release on tax evasion.