Money-laundering list expected with 170 suspects

By George Georgakopoulos

Fresh revelations concerning money laundering and tax evasion in Greek soccer come to light while more conversations among suspects of the match-fixing scandal emerge from the prosecutor?s files.

A sports newspaper reports on June 25 that a new list of no fewer than 170 people, including several of those accused in the match-fixing case, will become public, concerning legalization of money from fraud, blank contracts and tax evasion.

Goal News suggests that this new case involves club officials who tried to launder the money they had obtained from such activities as the illegal betting revealed by the match-fixing case, and forced players to sign blank contracts (with nominal fees) so as to pay their salaries under the table and give next to nothing to the tax authorities.

In one such instance, the contract a player signed contained nothing more than his monthly salary at just 800 euros, which meant that the 45 percent tax the club had to pay was reduced to a bare minimum, given that real salaries run up to thousands of euros.

Meanwhile police have arrested one more man in connection with the match-fixing scandal. Vassilis Geortsiakos, an illegal bookmaker according to the prosecutor, was taken into custody on the evening of June 24 and will appear before the prosecutor on June 28.

The new dialogues among suspects that emerged on Saturday are showing that two more Aris players, besides Costas Mendrinos, are implicated, while one of the men arrested, who is a club president, threatened to have whistle-blowing lawyer Alexis Kougias attacked to inflict injuries to him. These dialogues have not yet been confirmed by the prosecutor though.

One of the new Aris players implicated is said to have been betting against his own team.

The investigation by the authorities in the suspects? bank accounts has revealed deposits of no less than 550 million euros in the account of an unnamed club official, while a player implicated had deposits of 15 million euros, without being a highly-paid star. Sources ensure that this player is not Avraam Papadopoulos of Olympiakos.