NEWS

Greek exporter probed for illegally transporting gold to Germany

A Greek exporting company currently under investigation for issuing bogus checks came onto the radar of customs officials at Athens International Airport earlier this month after an employee was caught traveling with large quantities of unregistered gold and silver to Germany, Kathimerini understands.

Members of Elyros SA, whose headquarters are listed as being located in central Athens, were arrested in October on charges of issuing dud checks for the purchase of products that were then sold on to markets in neighboring Balkan countries. On April 12, customs officials at the Greek capital’s main airport arrested a 32-year-old German national registered as an Elyros employee after finding him in possession of 470 kilos of silver, 7 kilos of gold and 293,000 euros in cash. He was unable to present any documentation verifying the provenance of his cargo and whether it was legally acquired.

Two members of Elyros’s board of directors are already in pre-trial custody and warrants are pending against another two members for fraud, money laundering and other related charges.

They are accused of writing bogus checks for large quantities of consumer products, from tractors to foodstuffs and detergents, which they then allegedly gathered in warehouses and exported to Albania and Bulgaria. The company is believed to have written dud checks worth 1.2 million euros to at least 57 businesses.

According to sources in the Financial Crime Squad (SDOE), Elyros was working in partnership with a large “precious metals trading company” that is based in central Athens and has a department in Germany, a suspicion that was confirmed by the 32-year-old during questioning. Investigators believe that the unnamed company was using bogus invoices issued by Elyros in order to illegally export large quantities of gold and silver to its shop in Germany.