ECONOMY

Agency will tackle e-crime

The successor to the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) will focus heavily on fraud perpetrated using the Internet and other modern technologies. Economy and Finance Minister Giorgos Alogoskoufis in the coming days will announce the creation of the Special Inspections Service (YPEE). The presidential decrees enabling it to function have already been signed. YPEE will be divided into three directorates – Operational Planning and Inspection Coordination, Administration, and Special Operations – each headed by a special secretary. By far the most important directorate will be the one on special operations. In cooperation with other agencies from EU member states, it will investigate violations of EU and national subsidies, suspect banking and stock-market transactions, listed firms, loan sharks, as well as e-crime. Several of the cases are former investigations that had been filed away due to the existing authorities’ inability or lack of sufficient expertise to solve them. The new inspectorate will hire experts in e-commerce and technology to investigate several of these cases, as well as new ones. The operational planning division will be concerned with tax evasion, illicit trade, including special customs inspections, as well as the arms and narcotics trade. It will also provide telecommunications support. The new agency will be able to launch special investigations, including the examination of suspects and witnesses and will be given considerable leeway to operate, including the ability to confiscate data storage and transfer devices, freeze bank accounts and expropriate property in cases of big cases of tax evasion and customs code violations, as well in any other cases where the public interest is involved, such as illegal subsidies.