He is member of one of Greece’s most influential business families and CEO of Greece’s largest construction group ELLAKTOR. He is also CEO of Attiki Odos, Attica Toll-Fees, Aktor Parachorisis, MOREAS SA, Aegaio Highways, HERHOF GmbH, while he is also president of Board or Directors in another three infrastructure companies. Son of “Mr. Greek Highways”, Giorgos Bobolas, Leonidas Bobolas, 53, was arrested Wednesday morning by the Finance Police and was reportedly taken to the prosecutor on charges of tax evasion and money laundering.
According to Greek media, the case has to do with the ongoing investigations of the so-called “Lagarde List” – also known as the Falciani List – containing among others the names of more than 2,000 Greeks suspected of tax evasion.
The Tax Department investigating the Lagarde-List has reportedly crosschecked the amounts in HSBC Bank, Geneva branch with data in local tax offices. Leonidas Bobolas was contacted to pay 2 million euros before a law suit was filed. He did not respond. His arrest followed.
Leonidas Bobolas was later released after paying 1.8 million euro, that is 200,000 less than the amount the state claims that he owned in taxes.
“According to reports, the charges against Leonidas Bobolas to the sum of 4 million euros. He was contacted to pay 2 million euros, but did not respond. He has been taken to the courts, where he faced the examiner and responded to the charges. His brother Fotis* Bobolas has also reportedly paid a 1.8-million-euro fine.” (ToVima.gr)
*Fotis Bobolas deals with the media projects of the family.
In a statement to the press, Leonidas Bobolas said that he contacted the Justice authorities to settle a case of tax cases on his “own initiative” and that the case has been settled and put into archives “after the final administrative solution.”
Ellaktor SA is the largest construction group in Greece, with operations spanning across both the public and private sector of development in several countries. It’s portfolio includes real estate, energy, railway, highways, fuel pipes, gold mines and several infrastructure projects.
For Greeks, Ellaktor means Giorgos Bobolas, the powerful businessman, the incarnation of a Greek infrastructure and media (Mega Channel TV, Ethnos daily etc) magnate and owner of 15% of the stocks of the multinational company.
SYRIZA’s war against elites
Short after coming into power, left-wing SYRIZA had declared a war against local elites and oligarchs, the wealthy businessmen who dominate Greece’s economic and political life.
“We have made the decision to clash with a regime of political and economic power that plunged our country into the crisis and is responsible of Greece’s depreciation on an international level,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told parliament in February.
Anti-corruption Minister, Panagiotis Nikoloudis, had declared the local elites as “a handful of families who think that the state and public service exists to service their own interests.”
Panagiotis Nikoloudis, who was an economic prosecutor before appointed to Minister, had revealed that:
“3,500 case of tax evasion totaling €7 billion remain unaudited in the drawers” and that Finance Ministry “could immediately collect €2.5 billion in fines and penalties.” (full article KTG)
German tabloid BILD described the Leonidas Bobolas case as “Tsipras’ success against super rich Greek tax evaders.”
PS I wonder why Greek media and websites make such a fuzz … the case has been settled 🙂