Tax police scores a major catch

Financial police trailing large-scale tax evaders on Friday scored their biggest coup yet after arresting a 61-year-old civil engineer in central Athens said to owe more than 140 million euros in unpaid taxes.

The suspect, identified as M.L., is wanted by authorities for complicity to commit usury, money laundering, forgery and fraud and belonging to a criminal organization. A magistrate on the Ionian island of Zakynthos had issued two warrants for his arrest. Also, the 61-year-old has been convicted seven times by misdemeanors courts in Athens and the central port of Volos, earning jail time exceeding six years.

The suspect, who is seventh on a list of big-time tax evaders, was to face an Athens prosecutor yesterday.

In a smaller catch, officers nabbed the 67-year-old owner of the Pentelikon luxury hotel in northern Athens, Haralambos Vardis, for tax arrears of 85,457 euros.

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