As part of a probe launched following the publication of the Panama Papers, Greek prosecutors have requested the opening of accounts in Cyprus and Switzerland, and will be making similar requests to authorities in the central American country, Kathimerini understands.
The Panama Papers name 230 Greek companies and 400 individuals involved in offshore firms and trusts. Authorities stress this does not imply culpability. “It doesn’t mean that whoever is there [in the Papers] is a tax evader or has undeclared money,” a source said. “There are many who have deposits that have been taxed and are clean.”
Involvement in an offshore firm is not illegal under Greek law and prosecutors Panayiotis Athanasiou and Galinos Bris are reportedly focusing only on cases they deem suspicious. The investigation also includes raids on homes and businesses of Greeks named in the documents. So far, 20 have reportedly been conducted, yielding significant results.
The Panama Papers, named after the Mossack Fonseca law firm’s central American home base, have been a cause of embarrassment for several leading politicians and businessmen around the world, as they reveal a shadowy world of offshore holdings and hidden wealth.
The database of documents relating to more than 200,000 offshore accounts was posted by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). The documents list more than 200,000 shell companies, foundations and trusts set up in more than 20 tax havens around the world.