NEWS

Banks lose thousands to fraud

Banks have lost more than 500,000 euros so far this year by issuing loans to fraudsters, according to police records seen by Sunday’s Kathimerini. The loans have been granted to people who have produced forged tax declarations or have taken advantage of the tax office’s online system to inflate their salaries. Officers told Kathimerini that it is relatively easy for criminals to forge tax documents and take advantage of banks. Equally, according to the police, fraudsters have found ways to bypass security procedures to obtain identity cards and passports with other people’s details, which they then sell on the black market. Criminals get past the system by paying drug addicts for their identity cards. They then use the cards to obtain other documents, such as birth certificates, which they can use to apply for passports. Police said they have obtained vital information about the process following the recent arrest of a 56-year-old man who is due to stand trial soon.