More hands on deck for Lagarde list probes

The Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) has started making some headway with its investigation into a list of Greeks with deposits at a bank in Switzerland after the number of staff assigned to the case was increased from four to 16.

According to a high-ranking official at SDOE who wished to remain unnamed, significant progress has been made in the long-delayed probe into a list of Greeks with deposits at an HSBC branch in Geneva, which was handed to Greek authorities in 2010 by then-French Finance Minister Christine Lagarde. He said that the list contained a total of 2,062 names and that SDOE has been assigned by financial prosecutors to investigate 179 of them. Of these probes, 72 have been completed and have revealed a shortfall between the size of the deposits and the amount the account holders have paid in taxes in Greece ranging from 5,000 to 5 million euros.

The SDOE official said that notices have already been sent to the individuals by their tax authorities. He also said that he expects the probe into the remaining 107 files to be completed within the next 10 days.

The official added that he is optimistic after an initial team of four inspectors was augmented by an additional 12 with more expertise in data processing and in analyzing banking transactions.