The company offices of Stavroula Nikolopoulou – wife of Bank of Greece Governor Yannis Stournaras – were searched. The couple’s home was also searched on Thursday following an order by Chief Corruption Prosecutor Eleni Raikou who is probing into the alleged mismanagement of more than 1 million euros worth of state funding by the Hellenic Center for Disease Control and Prevention (KEELPNO).
The Financial Police are seeking funds that KEELPNO is believed to have received through a consortium that includes a company owned by Nikolopoulou. Her advertising company, Mindwork Business Solutions Ltd, is being investigated for the advertising campaign for KEELPNO to raise cancer awareness for which it may have wrongly secured a contract in 2011. Investigators discovered a number of irregularities in some of the tender procedures. In one instance, a contract was awarded to a company that should have been excluded from the process due to non-payment of social insurance contributions.
The finance squad managed to confiscate documents and electronic data concerning Nikolopoulou even though there were complaints related to the disappearance of documents related to the case. Nikolopoulou has denied any wrongdoing.
It is the second preliminary investigation taking place following an earlier probe carried out in April 2015 when three members of the board of directors and management of KEELPNO had been charged with breach of duty in their handling of finances from 2011-2013. The evidence collected in the case of the three accused members of the group is now in the hands of the examining magistrate. It is believed that KEELPNO spent sums greater than 2 million euros on campaigns to inform the public about health issues. These could have been broadcast for free as public service messages.
Central banker Stournaras is not involved. Bank of Greece sources confirmed that the raid into the home of the central banker had taken place, and they added that the couple had nothing to hide. The same sources stated that the “alleged judicial officials refused to show identification.” An official statement regarding the incident might be issued by the Bank of Greece.