Venizelos asks tax chief to resign over charges

Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos on Monday requested the resignation of Yiannis Kapeleris, the ministry’s general secretary for tax and customs affairs, to facilitate an investigation into corruption charges that were levelled against him.

Financial crimes prosecutor Grigoris Peponis has ordered Kapeleris’s prosecution on the charge of dereliction of duty. The charges brought against him ? as well as against the head of the Customs Control Directorate Evangelia Pantazi ? concern allegations that they failed to collect fines that had been imposed on companies for illegal fuel trading.

The fines are estimated at 15 million euros.

Finance ministry officials allegedly also failed to conduct checks on the companies that had been fined. There were further cases in which various methods were used to cancel fines that had been imposed.

A statement issued by the finance ministry on Monday said that Venizelos, and alternate finance minister Pantelis Economou, have requested that Kapeleris resign to facilitate the probe.

Kapeleris has in the past denied any wrongdoing.

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