State minister’s 2013 Venezuela trip under scrutiny

State minister’s 2013 Venezuela trip under scrutiny

Main opposition party New Democracy has submitted a question in Parliament to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Minister of State Nikos Pappas concerning a 2013 trip made by the latter to Venezuela with a Cypriot lawyer specializing in offshore companies. ND is also reportedly examining the possibility of requesting that Pappas appear before Parliament’s transparency committee.

The lawyer, Artemis Artemiou, was implicated in the Panama Papers (leaked documents that detail financial and attorney-client information for more than 214,488 offshore entities).

Pappas told Red radio on Monday that there was nothing dubious about his trip and that he was neither an MP nor a minister at the time.

When news of his visit became public in October, he claimed that he had gone to Venezuela to discuss a possible visit by Tsipras and “examine the possibility of purchasing products from state-run supermarkets.” According to reports, the journey was made on a jet belonging to a “controversial” Venezuelan businessman.

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