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Greek Prosecutor Presses Bad Loan Charges, Capital Controls Violations

ATHENS – Greece’s anti-corruption prosecutor Eleni Touloupaki is bringing charges against 38 people linked to Piraeus Bank bad loans and transferring money abroad in violation of capital controls that end September 1.
The controls were put in place in the summer of 2015 by then-Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to prevent a run on the banks when customers feared he would lead Greece out of the Eurozone or seize accounts.
The suspects, who include bank employees of the bank, are to face charges of breach of faith and money laundering while charges against two high-ranking bankers originally implicated dropped due to a lack of evidence, said Kathimerini.
The case was revealed after a report by the Bank of Greece revealed transfers abroad in 2015-16 in violation of capital controls and the issuing of loans, with a number of Greek banks having given business loans that weren’t repaid.
The state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (ANA-MPA) said the loans were given without adequate guarantees. Under the country’s privacy laws, it wasn’t reported who the suspects were nor who got loans or where the money went as banks are chasing other debtors and selling off loans to collectors.
The questionable loans were said to total 400 million euros ($442.99 million) and the capital moved abroad 127 million euros ($140.65 million) without anybody being identified to indicate whether they were high-level or well-known persons or business executives.

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