Dozens of suspected tax cheats to receive summons


By the end of the week, financial crimes prosecutors will have sent dozens of summons to Greek depositors whose names appear on a list of suspected tax cheats that was supplied to the Greek government by authorities in the west German state of North Rhine-Westphalia in November.

A team of prosecutors headed by chief financial prosecutor Panayiotis Athanasiou spent the holidays going through the list of 10,500 depositors at a Swiss branch of UBS to identify suspicious account activity. They have reportedly found dozens of cases that merit further investigation to ascertain whether their assets were legally acquired and whether they have been subject to taxation.

The information passed on by the Germans concerns private individuals and companies from Greece with total savings of 3.9 billion Swiss francs (3.6 billion euros) in 2006 and 2.9 billion Swiss francs (2.67 billion euros) in 2008.

The finance minister for the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Norbert Walter-Borjans, meanwhile, is expected in Athens on Saturday, when he is due to meet with Greek finance officials and sign a memorandum of cooperation for cracking down on tax evasion.