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La Stampa: Former Greek PM Samaras' Close Associate's Name Found in Lagarde List


“Stavros Papastavrou, according to documents that we have access on, had two accounts in Switzerland, at the HSBC bank. His name was included in ‘Falciani list’ (also known as ‘Lagarde list‘) and the prosecutors were unable to complete their work,” Italian daily newspaper La Stampa wrote today. In an article entitled “Samaras’ right hand man and the buried tax evasion” the newspaper revealed that Papastavrou, a close associate of Greece’s former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was among those included in the Lagarde list, containing roughly 2,000 Greek nationals, potential tax evaders with undeclared accounts at Swiss HSBC bank’s Geneva branch.

As the report explained, Papastavrou was until January 25 and the snap elections that brought leftist SYRIZA to power, among Greece’s most powerful men and it is clear that a scandal with him at the epicenter would have significant consequences for the former Prime Minister and the main opposition party, New Democracy. Moreover, according to the report, “the consequences could be more severe, since the president of New Democracy is Alexis Tsipras’ only rival.”

In addition, La Stampa said Papastavrou’s name was included in the Lagarde list, published in 2012 by Greek magazine Hot Doc, along with the name of Greek-Israeli businessman Saba Mionis, “who confirmed that he was Samaras’ former adviser and would manage funds on his behalf.”

Italian Journalist Tonia Mastrobuoni, signing the article, also revealed that the Greek Financial Crime Unit (SDOE) launched an investigation in order to determine whether the funds’ source was illegal. “But when the January 25 elections were called, a SDOE senior official requested to close the case.” Although, according to the report, the investigator rejected to do so and submitted a document with his objections to his foremen, denouncing the unorthodox practice of being requested to close a case orally.

Stabri, a company reportedly owned by Papastavrou, is based in the Virgin Islands’ tax haven and the Greek authorities lack evidence regarding its share capital. The only element the Greek authorities have so far is a 2.6-million-dollar transaction from a Swiss account under the name Fairwings Asset Inc, completed in 2006. Papastavrou argued that the amount came from different company profits.

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