New squad for finance inspections

The creation of a new body to focus on tax evasion, illegal trade and financial crime, particularly electronic theft, is in the final stages, the Economy and Finance Ministry said yesterday. The Special Investigation Service (SIS) will succeed the Financial Crimes Squad (SDOE), very shortly. The new unit will have 1,500 personnel – some 300 fewer than SDOE currently employs. Over two-thirds of inspectors will be university or technical college graduates. Up to 30 percent of employees will be new recruits in a bid to limit the possibility of corruption within the team, while the majority of staff will serve a maximum of four years for the body. The force will have offices in Athens and Thessaloniki. It will also have departments to deal with electronic trade and to tackle electronic crime. SIS will focus strongly on high-tech and particularly Internet-related crime. SIS will also be able to go after money-laundering suspects and related criminal activities of a financial nature, as well as keep an eye on suspicious stock market transactions and the possible fraudulent use of EU funds.

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