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Greek Businessman Accused of Bribery in TOR-M1 Found Dead in Indonesia

Vlassis Kambouroglou, 60, managing director of Drumilan International has been found dead on Saturday in his hotel room in Jakarta, Indonesia. In a story that reads like a modern times novel written together by John Le Carre and Graham Greene, some Greek media claim that Kambouroglou had committed suicide while others report that the Indonesia authorities investigate also the possibility of assassination.

Vlassis Kambouroglou

 Kambouroglou, an arms dealer, had being accused of being part of bribery and money laundering network connected to former PASOK-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos currently in prison awaiting for trial.  

Kambouroglou was involved in the brides scandal for the purchase of Russian-made Air Defense, anti-missile system TOR-M1 by Athens back in 2000. 

“Kambouroglou was called to testify before a parliamentary inquiry into the arms deal in 2004 but denied that his company made any money from the deal. No charges were brought against him.

However, Tsochatzopoulos’s cousin, Nikos Zigras, who is a key suspect in the graft case, claimed during questioning by prosecutors earlier this year that Kambouroglou was involved in bribing the ex-minister.

Authorities in Indonesia said it was not immediately clear how Kambouroglou had died. (ekathimerini)

According to online edition of newspaper TO VIMA,

“Kambouroglou’s Drumilan is involved in a scandal for having paid million of US-dollars in bribes to the Greek Defence Ministry for the TOR M1. Receiver of the bribe appears to be Akis Tsochatzopoulos.

Russian TOM M1 designer company Antey had allegedly transferred 21.081.757 US-Dollars to Drumillan (Kambouroglou) via Popular Bank of Cyprus and from there to off shore Blue Bell via CreditT Agricole in Switerland. Manager of Blue Bell was Tsochatzopoulos’ cousin Nikolaos Zigras [currently in custody].” (TO VIMA)

Russian Pravda had reported in December 2000

Russia supplies Greece with anti-aircraft systems TOR-M1

“Concern “Antey” supplied to Greece four anti-aircraft systems Tor-M1. All the Tor-M1 systems were delivered to the customer by air-crafts An 124-100 Ruslan. The same planes delivered equipment: gas-turbine units for Osa-AKM and Tor-M1, military and diplomatic source announced today. The supply of four Tor-M1 systems was carried out in the network of additional contract, signed by “Antey” concern and Greece Defence Ministry this year.”
 The contract for the purchase was signed between General Secretary for Procurement Yiannis Sbokos and the general director of Almaz-Antey Igor Vorobiev.
 
However the case of TOR M1 seems to have a touch of  a criminal novel, with Russian Intelligence Services and Greek officials in Moscow’s Red Square, two murders and a labyrinth of money transfer to several accounts in the name of off-shores and different countries.
 
Proto Thema wrote on May 2012:

“The missile systems were normally delivered, but no one cared enough for the respective offsets worth $73 million before Spiros Travlos, who replaced Sbokos, discovered that Drumilan Offset Programme Ltd (the company responsible for implementing the offsets) had shut down its offices in Athens and its representative Fouad Al Zayat [Syrian]and his Greek partner Vlassis Kambouroglou had disappeared.

After this discovery, Travlos contacted the new director of Almaz Antey Igor Klimov asking for explanations. Being one of the most powerful people in Russia and a close friend to Vladimir Putin, Klimov found out that from the initially disbursed amount of $73 million to Drumilan Ltd some $45 million were transferred to a bank account in the Western Bank in Montenegro with the help of the public prosecution office of Moscow. Another $12 million were tracked down in a bank account belonging to the company’s former general director Vorobiev in the Privi Bank of Moscow. Given the new findings, Putin ordered  Klimov to lead an official investigation in Greece, which would trace the lost money. Moreover, Putin asked for Vorobiev’s house arrest until the economic crime case was thoroughly investigated.”

In 2003, while the investigation was on, Klimov and his close partner and president of an Almaz susidiary, Sergej Sitko, were murdered in two separate incidents.

“Travlos was waiting for Klimov at Moscow’s Red Square when he was informed by members of Russian Intelligence Service that Klimov had been murdered and that he would take security protection measures.” (Proto Thema)

Today, Monday Yiannis Sbokos was arrested in Athens after giving a testimony to the prosecutor. Sbokos was detained last week after authorities suspected him of planning to leave Greece [most likely for unknown destination] before giving testimony.

When police and prosecutor stormed the office of Tsochatzopulos in May 2012, they had found among others letters  by the ex defence minister to Sbokos. In his letters, Tsochatzopoulos was repeatedly asking Sbokos to hand over to him 80 million euro, bribes that were kept by the former General secretary…

PS A crime & bribe novel of Modern Greece: John Le Carre and Graham Greene in one single book. It’s all about unpaid bribes, after all….?

 

 

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