Well-known businessman Thomas Liakounakos was arrested at 10 pm on Monday on charges of involvement in Greek Navy armament kickbacks.
Liakounakos is involved in managing 1.6 billion euros stemming from the purchase by the Greek government of four aircraft and radars from Swedish company Ericsson.
The arrest was made after new evidence came to the hands of a team of public prosecutors on cases of corruption headed by Eleni Raikou. The charges of bribery and money laundering came after the opening of an account in Monaco belonging to an off-shore company in which Liakounakos is involved.
Appeals prosecutor Georgia Tsatanis asked judicial authorities to put on trial a total of 18 people, with Liakounakos among them, for the purchase of the electronic Sonak radar system for the Greek Army that was never delivered. Tsatanis said that the purchase kickbacks cost the Greek state millions of euros.
Antonis Kantas, former general director of armament purchases who is involved in the kickback case, pleaded that he bribed Liakounakos twice. He stated that one time he left at the Ministry of Defense a briefcase containing 600,000 euros for the businessman.
Since the beginning of the investigation, Liakounakos has denied any relation to Kantas and handling of money. He claimed that he never met Kantas.
After his arrest the businessman was taken to the Attica Police headquarters and on Tuesday he will be brought before the investigating judge who issued the warrant.
Liakounakos is a self-made millionaire who had made profitable connections with the PASOK and New Democracy administrations. Since 2000, he has allegedly been involved in armament contracts worth 6 billion euros.
According to a Proto Thema report, Liakounakos has founded the Euromedica Group with 18 clinics, 86 health units, 58 diagnostic centers and 9 rehab centers. The group ran aground as public health funds dried up. The Euromedica subsidiary alone has debts to banks that exceed 372,700,000 euros.
Liakounakos has often made tabloid headlines with his lavish lifestyle. He owns exotic villas in Mykonos and Arachova, yachts and a line of luxury cars.
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