Ex-minister’s cousin charged with money laundering

Ex-minister’s cousin charged with money laundering

Nikolas Zigras, the first cousin of former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is serving time for kickbacks from state procurement contracts, faces charges of money laundering after Swiss prosecutors said they had traced a bank transfer of 359,000 Swiss Francs (about 306,000 euros) to an account in his name.

The money has been linked to one of the defense contracts that Tsochatzopoulos signed during his stint as defense minister.

The alleged bank transfer into Zigras’s account was traced by Swiss authorities in response to a request by their Greek counterparts.

Zigras had initially been implicated in the money-laundering racket that Tsochatzopoulos was found guilty of setting up to cover the trail of kickbacks from defense contracts.

Zigras was permitted to pay off his sentence of four years in prison after he cooperated with judicial authorities, giving the names of bankers and state officials implicated in the network. 

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