NEWS

Banks financed cheat’s lifestyle

A young Thessaloniki businessman has been arrested on charges of defrauding a string of banks out of more than 80,000 euros by getting loans and credit cards issued under false identities, police said yesterday. The 24-year-old, whose name was not made public, was arrested Monday outside an Emporiki Bank branch in the Thessaloniki district of Kalamaria after receiving a 5,000-euro consumer loan. Officers confiscated 15 credit cards and five bank account books, all of which the suspect had allegedly secured using false or forged documents. Police said the businessman had conned banks out of a total 63,000 euros in loans over the past year, and had made 22,500 euros’ worth of purchases with credit cards he had obtained in a similar fashion. He allegedly used part of the loans to buy a luxury car. The suspect allegedly started his career with a forged identity card he obtained from two Kavala businessmen to whom he owed money, giving them in return nine blank checkbooks.