NEWS

Arms dealer arrested in defense kickbacks probe

A 78-year-old arms dealer identified as Dimitris Papachristos was arrested on Monday as part of a probe into kickbacks from state defense deals.

The suspect was reportedly named by ex-Defense Ministry official Antonis Kantas who claimed in earlier testimony that he received some 16 million euros in under-the-table payments for the purchase of German tanks and other procurements.

According to sources, Papachristos was the representative of German firm Krauss-Maffei Wegmann(KMW) in the year 200 and is alleged to have given a 750,000-euro under-the-table payment to Kantas for the purchase of PZH 2000 self-propelled howitzers.

German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeiting has quoted the German firm as denying reports that it bribed Greek officials for state defense contracts.

In several days of testimony last week, Kantas implicated several politicians including former minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos in under-the-table payments for the purchase of tanks and other defense procurement. Tsochatzopulos is already in jail for money laundering.