Money stuck in suitcases changed hands, bribes based on a fixed percentage were paid and major political parties received a share from the illegal money as ‘donation’ during the construction of the Metro in Athens during 2003-2007. German authorities sent to the Corruption Prosecutor in Athens a file full of data regarding the award and implementation of joint venture projects for Attikon Metro.
According to athensnewsagency, the German file contains material with regards to bribes to state officials and “sponsorship” to political parties, amounts that reached 7% of the total cost for each project. The case concerns the executions and implementation of a consulting service form ATTIKON METRO to the Consortium of Metro Consultants Greece.
The new data submitted by the German Justice authorities to Athens contain documents and electronic records revealing that illegal payments of 370,000 were made to government officials who received the money cash in suitcases.
In additions, there are indications that the Consortium billed 5%-7% of the amount of each project as “donation” to political parties that “were dominating Greece’ political scene” at that time.
According to the German Justice file, the payments money were allegedly made by the Deutsche Bahn, the state-owned German railway corporation, which participated in the Consortium of consultants with the companies Thales, Lahmeyer and OMEK.
The Consortium had undertaken the work to implement the design and the supervision of the track rails of the metro.
The German company during the period in question, 2003-2007, had undertaken three projects, including the Metro Station <Ellinikon>.
According to the data sent by the Germans, illegal payments in Greece were made via a specific person named by a code name in a deposit given to Germany by a man on the German railways.
The named person appears to have opened a bank account in Greece, but eventually closed it as the payment method “cash goes around” prevailed.
As the manager of the German company admits in his testimony, report, in each project they “priced 5-7% of the charge for the political parties that dominated the political scene in Greece” at that time. At the same time, the Germans seemed to be pushing the man to whom they gave the money to bring them in contact with those who received the money.
On the basis of the new evidence, the prosecution was filed charges against the representatives of Lahmeyer and OMEK, who have been accused since last January for “donations” worth 210,000 euros to Metro personnel.
The additional criminal charges refer again to “active bribery” and are combined with the aggravating provisions of Law 1608/50 on State Abusers.
The new file was forwarded to the Corruption Investigator who is already handling the case in order to identify the “state officials” who have received money for the award of the Metro project in question. notes athensnewsagency.
PS the problem with bribes is that authorities normally know who gave the money but it is hard to find who received it.