Athens contractor held for major tax evasion

A 62-year-old businessman and major shareholder in the construction firm ATTI-KAT was to face an Athens prosecutor Friday on charges of withholding 7.9 million euros in value added tax from the Greek state.

According to Skai, the suspect admitted to withholding the VAT but said this was because the Greek state had failed to make good on payments for construction projects undertaken by his company.

The 62-year-old, who was not named, has been implicated in a trial-fixing ring and had also been charged for manipulating the share price of the company Sigalas between 1999 and 2001.

In Thessaloniki meanwhile police arrested two businessmen each alleged to owe some 140,000 euros to the state.

The Finance Ministry?s financial crimes squad (SDOE) has been asked by a prosecutor to arrest another 20 entrepreneurs whose names are linked to large tax debts, Skai reported.