NEWS

13 firms linked to EU scam

Greek investigators working with the Swiss authorities have uncovered 13 firms in northern Greece which allegedly swindled the European Union out of millions of euros in funding by purchasing machinery at inflated prices, sources told Sunday’s Kathimerini. The Special Investigation Service (SIS), responsible for tackling financial crimes in Greece, has found 13 companies in Macedonia and Thrace that were buying equipment from two firms in Switzerland at prices said to be far above market value. Swiss authorities discovered that the two suppliers had been formed by Greeks and served as fronts, buying machinery from Italy and Germany and then selling it on to Greece at much higher prices. The companies in northern Greece that bought the equipment received tens of millions of euros in EU funding for the purchases, with the majority of the cash apparently going to the company directors, sources said. The exact amount of money involved has not been made public but the investigators’ findings will be sent to prosecutors.