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Tax officers arrested for extorting money from local businessmen

Police arrested seven tax officers including the director and deputy director of a branch in Halkida for setting up a criminal organization that extorted local businessmen.

Police officers handcuffed the director, the deputy director and five employees after a check carried out by a group of internal affairs officials following complaints by residents of Halkida on the island of Evia,

Documents and computers have been seized and are being examined. The case file includes six more people, among them two private accountants.

According to results from the investigations so far, 17 cases of extortion have been uncovered, from which the criminal organization obtained an illegal benefit of 95,600 euros, over a period of three months.

Charges include bribery of an employee by profession, breach of duty, extortion and attempted extortion by profession and possession of weapons.

Video: The arrested taken to court on Wednesday afternoon

A complaint was filed against two employees who, taking advantage of their position, demanded and received sums of money in order not to block refund procedures to beneficiaries.

The members of the organization were facilitating, omitting or performing fiscal authority procedures contrary to their official duties as employees, as well as blackmailing businessmen, taking advantage of their status, demanding sums of money as consideration, in order to process their pending taxes.

The organization was active since November 2023.

After a long under cover investigation, authorities arrested a businessman yesterday, Tuesday, who had just paid 10,000 euros to the director, that is the  sum she had blackmailed from him to prevent tax control. In her office, police found the paid amount as well as 40,000 euros in cash in her home.

Among others, the following were found and confiscated:

  • the total sum of 78,795 euros,
  • 10 mobile telephone devices,
  • 4 notebooks with handwritten notes,
  • number of photocopies of tax cases
  • double-barreled shotgun, for which there was no possession license .

Those arrested will be taken to the competent prosecuting authority.

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