Ex-minister’s relatives seem above board in Lagarde list probe

The four relatives of former Finance Minister Giorgos Papaconstantinou whose names were allegedly removed from the Lagarde list of depositors do not appear to have broken any laws, two inspectors from the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE) told a parliamentary inquiry.

Panayiotis Mantouvalos and Haralambos Sgouros told the committee that preliminary checks indicated that Papaconstantinou’s relatives – two cousins and their husbands – are able to account for the money they had deposited at the Geneva branch of HSBC. There was no indication that the four had flouted any tax regulations, the inspectors told MPs.

However, they also underlined that SDOE continues to be understaffed and is having trouble following up the more than 2,000 accounts on the list. The body has a total of 50 inspectors but it estimates that it needs 400 to be in a position to provide a full report on the Greek HSBC depositors.

The inquiry continues on Wednesday with Maria Panteli, the woman whose name was linked to the largest account on the list, containing some 550 million dollars.

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