Bunkering firm chief denies charges of fuel smuggling

The owner of a bunkering firm at the center of an illegal fuel smuggling scandal, Giorgos Spanos, on Saturday pleaded not guilty during seven-hours of testimony to an investigating magistrate in Piraeus.

Spanos, who is also the chairman of the Atromitos soccer club, is accused of running a racket that mixed cheaper bunker fuel from his firm, ETEKA, with pricey gas sold at gas stations all over Attica. The operation is believed to have been running for at least two years and is estimated to have cost the state 35,000 euros in lost taxes a month.

A total of 15 people have been arrested in connection with the case and are expected to complete their depositions on Monday.