Anti-corruption magistrates to begin questioning in Hellenic Postbank loans case

Former Hellenic Postbank vice-chairman Marios Varotsis is expected to be the first suspect to be questioned on Monday in connection to the probe into unsecured loans made by the lender.

Varotsis was arrested last week after the completion of an investigation into the bank’s activities.

His deposition comes in the wake of the lender’s former chairman, Angelos Filippidis, being arrested in Turkey on Saturday. Filippidis is being held in Istanbul, pending his extradition.

A total of 25 people have been charged with fraud and money laundering in connection with the scandal miring TT, which issued half a billion euros in suspicious loans between 2007 and 2012, according to a prosecutor’s report.

The bulk of this – some 300 million euros in loans – was issued between the fall of 2008 and fall 2009, when Filippidis was at the lender’s helm, according to Bank of Greece inspectors.

According to a BoG report, TT issued loans without guarantees and with favorable terms to several companies, some overindebted ones, with much of the money ending up in the personal bank accounts of some of the business owners who benefited.

Several prominent businessman have been embroiled in the scandal, including Alpha TV channel and Interamerican insurance firm owner Dimitris Kontominas, Kyriakos Griveas and Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, who is in pretrial custody for embezzlement relating to another case.

Kontominas is expected to face anti-corruption magistrates on Tuesday but is currently under police guard at an Athens hospital after suffering breathing problems.

Another former Hellenic Postbank employee, Charalambos Giakoudis, is due to be questioned on Wednesday.