State to benefit from seized assets

Money or assets frozen or confiscated by judicial authorities in connection with financial crimes and cases of state corruption will automatically go into state coffers, according to a bill that will soon be tabled in Parliament by the Greek government, Kathimerini understands.

The draft legislation, which has been drafted by Justice Minister Haralambos Athanasiou, concerns assets derived from tax evasion, inaccurate declaration of property assets, money laundering and smuggling. The money is to be placed in a special account controlled by the state.

Government officials predict that the measures will bring about 800 million euros in revenues into the country’s cash-strapped coffers.

Authorities have already seized about 160 million euros in assets belonging to businessman Lavrentis Lavrentiadis, the principal shareholder of Proton Bank which failed because of bad loans, and an additional 40 million euros that belonged to other suspects implicated in the embezzlement scandal.

Another 240 million euros has been frozen in the accounts of alternative energy suppliers Energa and Hellas Power, which had their licences revoked over unpaid debts. Large amounts of money as well as properties have been seized in connection with the arms procurements scandals.

Meanwhile, the bill foresees that if a suspect or convict informs investigators of a secret bank account with illegally acquired assets, they will get reduced jail time for their offense.

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