BUSINESS

High risk of money laundering in Greek real estate

EIRINI CHRYSOLORA

TAGS: Economy, Property

Drug trafficking in Greece in 2016 is estimated at 200 million euros, while the amount of taxes lost as a result of cigarette smuggling in the same year is put at 431.8 million euros, and illegal migrant trafficking is seen as having led to gains of 367 million euros for the smugglers.

Along with corruption, robberies, financial crimes and tax violations, these criminal activities are associated with the collateral crime of money laundering, according to the conclusions of Greek authorities cited in the report of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) against money laundering and terrorism funding published on Tuesday.

In the report, Greece is seen as having recorded an improvement and now ranks in the top tier of countries – Regular Follow Up – featuring a high degree of compliance and an efficient system of prevention and combating of money laundering and terrorism financing.

However, the risks are assessed by the Greek authorities themselves as moderate to high, with the report saying the greatest risks are associated with professional groups such as lawyers, notaries, accountants and estate agents. “There is a high number of unlicensed estate agents in Greece, which increases the risk of the property market being used for money laundering,” the report says.
 

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