Even 30 years would not suffice for the existing mechanisms to complete their investigation of all seven lists of suspected tax dodgers and money launderers that financial prosecutors have in their hands, accounting for billions of euros. The sum of the tax ID numbers (AFM) included on the lists – on which the government is resting its hopes for revenues from tax evasion containment – comes to over 1.38 million.
The probes so far have proceeded at snail’s pace, on the admission of the authorities themselves and despite the efforts made by the handful people involved in the process.
The inefficiency of the monitoring mechanisms, which suffer from inherent weaknesses, is described in a classified 25-page report by financial prosecutor Panayiotis Athanasiou, which has been seen by Kathimerini.
The slow pace of the investigations becomes obvious just by the course of the investigation into a list of depositors who relocated funds abroad, the so-called Luxembourg list, a catalogue of Greeks who own properties in Britain and the so-called list of the 65 CDs, containing names of individuals who had large deposits in domestic banks from 2000 to 2012.
The first list includes the names of 54,246 people who sent money abroad from 2009 to 2012 but no more than 588 of them have been investigated, while inspection orders are outstanding for another 1,500. The probe into the list of Greeks with accounts in Luxembourg has not gone any further than the first 35 names.
The pace is similar for the list of Greeks who bought properties in the UK in the last few years. The probe has started in the first 32 cases but the catalogue runs to 306 names. As for the 65-CDs list, search orders have only been issued for 61 people, and bank account and property confiscation orders for just 34.
Some progress has been made in the investigation of the infamous “Lagarde list.” The report sent by Athanasiou to the competent ministers showed that out of the 2,062 HSBC depositors, Greek authorities have investigated 478. Athanasiou expressed the hope that by the end of this year most of the names will have been probed to a satisfactory level.