A Greek couple wanted in the Hellenic Postbank scandal and who turned themselves in to British authorities after being the subject of a worldwide hunt with the help of Interpol were released almost as soon as they surrendered on Jan. 22 with the promise they won’t become fugitives again.
Kyriakos Griveas and his wife Anastasia Vatsika were freed on the equivalent of 61,000 euros bail each and restrictive conditions including that they surrender their passports as well as their children’s and must report to a police station three times a week, unless they disappear again.
They are supposed to return to court on Feb. 5. Their lawyer insisted they hadn’t surrendered but had made a deal with Greek authorities to make an appointment to turn themselves in but it was reported they were arrested in Manchester and not London, adding to the confusion.
To Vima reported that the two were located by Greek extradition prosecutor Yiannis Angelis who had recently traveled to London and found the house where they were living.
It was unclear whether they would waive extradition procedures and allow themselves to be return to Greece without a fight. If they contest it, there will be a more complicated judicial procedure to try to get them back under an international warrant.
Greek authorities said the couple had absconded with as much as 17 million euros in bad loans as part of a scandal enveloping the failed state-run Hellenic Postbank.
Scotland Yard said the couple showed up around 12:30 p.m. London time after reportedly having negotiated with Greek officials to surrender without being arrested as fugitives, as they said they wanted to return to Greece.
Greek prosecutors said the pair was given 19.8 million euros ($26.8 million) in unsecured loans from the bank, also known as TT, without collateral and despite having less than three million euros in property value. Greek investigators had frozen their assets and asked judicial authorities to access their personal and corporate accounts.