The man is well-known in Greece. In fact, he become broadly known when he invested in several media outlets almost a decade ago. Before this, hardly any Greek knew the young and very successful shipowner – apart from his colleagues shipowners, of course. Two years ago, the said man had spent 8 months in prison for an alleged bank embezzlement case. He was released pending trial. Now, the shipowner is again in the focus of legal authorities. On Tuesday, an Athens prosecutor brought a series of severe charges against him and one of his close associates. After a long investigation conducted by four prosecutors, authorities now accuse the “well-known shipowner” of running a criminal racket. The charges include blackmail, extortion of entrepreneurs, threats, illegal wire tapping, beating and even attempted manslaughter committed by the shipowner’s associate.
According to the 30-page prosecutor’s report, the shipowner employed staff to observe rival businessmen who subsequently suffered blackmail, threats and often beatings.
“The businessman and his associate, identified as V.R. and A.P. in the report, face charges of running a criminal organization and acting as moral accomplices to a series of crimes carried out by employees. The latter face charges of attempted manslaughter, causing grievous bodily harm and possessing arms.”
According to prosecutor’s report, “victims had complained about the gang’s violent behavior. Among them was a lawyer who was allegedly “ruthlessly” beaten and “well-known businessmen who experienced the criminal behavior of the organization and were exposed to extortion, explosions, threats, dangerous body harm.
The prosecutor’s findings state also that the ‘task force‘ of the organization that was committing crimes of all kinds, was established by former policemen and “henchmen” with foreign nationality, mainly Albanians.
While the first reports on the case did not name the “well-known shipowner” and his associate, later the initials were given to the press, some websites likes The Toc and Zougla.gr made the name public right away.
On Wednesday, the lawyer of the “well-known shipowner” told the media, that his client Victor Restis had nothing to do with the case. According to the lawyer, the prosecutor’s report was leaked to the press before his client and his attorneys were informed. “The trial will confirm that my client has nothing to do with the claimed charges,” the lawyer said in a statement. Furthermore, he stated that only “one lawyer had filed a law suit” against Resits for the incidents that occurred 2011-2012.
Mr. Restis employs in his businesses and ships more than 3,000 employees, he brings into the country valuable exchange of hundreds of millions, has unique charity and social actions and intends to request the immediate liquidation of the above mentioned puddle-like file against him.
Athens, July 22, 2015
It is not the first time, Victor Restis, 47, has to deal with justice. In 2013, he was being investigated for loans issued by First Business Bank during his chairmanship. He had denied that he was the recipient of a 5.8-million-euro loan granted by First Business Bank. He has said that the money ended up in the account of an associate. He was also being investigated for a string of other business loans by FBB that went to companies that were either linked to the businessman or the lender’s shareholder.
PS and while the majority of the Greek media did not disclose the name of the “well-known shipowner” it was his lawyer who did it.