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Ex-SDOE Chief To Testify in Case of Not-Collection of Fines for Illegal Fuel Trading

Ioannis Kapaeleris, former head of financial crimes units (SDOE) and current General Secretary at the Greek Finance Ministry is going to testify in front of a prosecutor and give exmplanations in the case of not collecting fines for illegal fuel trading. On the status of ‘suspect’ Kapeleris will visit the Deputy Public Prosecutor in Athens who investigates the resignation of Secretary of Information Systems at the Finance Ministry, Diomedes Spinellis.

According to Greek media reports/claims Spinellis’ resignation is linked to some ‘kind of a system’ within the Greek Finance Ministry that prevented the collection of fines for smuggling fuel. The same media reports refer to an ‘extremely urgent circular’ that was issued by Kapeleris, last August, in which it was stated that an “imminent legislation on the fines issue was due and the suspension of the fines collection was requested.”

Greek media report that the fines exceed 15 million euro – an amount that has been double- and cross checked via the system Hephaestus. The fines were sent to several companies dealing with heating oil in 2010 and 2011.

Newspaper Kathimerini that brought up the case claimed that “Kapeleris had asked authorities to freeze the process of fining gas stations that had missed the deadline for submitting paperwork to claim returns on special consumption tax” and that one of the reasons for Spinellis’ resignation was that circular”.

Heating oil distributors are allowed to claim back part of the tax on the fuel they sell to homeowners by registering the details on the Hephaestus system, which is monitored by tax authorities. Inspectors found that some of the information entered was incorrect or had not been entered on time.

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