Authorities in Greece have asked Panama to investigate whether the suspects in the Qatargate scandal, Eva Kaili and her Italian partner Francesco Giorgi received bribes from Qatar.
Charalambos Vourliotis, the head of Greece’s anti-money laundering agency, has urgently written to his counterpart in Panama to inquire about the possibility that 20 million euros ($21.3 million) in remittances from Qatar have been transferred to their accounts.
The accounts are alleged to be with Bladex, a bank headquartered in Panama, and belong to Kaili and her parents. They appear to include €20 million in two deposits from Qatar to Eva Kaili, €4 million in two deposits from Qatar to her father and €4 million in two deposits from Qatar to her mother.
Panama bank denies remittances from Kaili and other Qatargate suspects
In a press statement, Bladex has denied that is the depository of funds of people accused of being involved in the Qatargate scandal.
“In the interest of transparency and sense of responsibility that characterizes our Bank, we want to inform the public that we have detected false information that has been circulating in social media outlets which wrongfully mentions our institution as the depository of funds of certain persons that are the subject of investigations in a corruption case that involves a member of the European Parliament.
“We firmly ratify that after conducting a thorough search and due diligence of our internal records and operations there is no direct or indirect relation of any kind to the persons that are being questioned in the above-mentioned case,” the Bank says in the statement.
Kaili’s lawyer Michalis Dimitrakopoulos said that the request of Vourliotis to Panama was initiated by Kaili’s defense team.
In a statement, he emphasizes that he had submitted a request for judicial assistance from Panama days ago, to prove that the reported remittances by Qatar to Kaili are “a myth.”
In an ongoing political scandal dubbed Qatargate, politicians, political staffers, lobbyists, civil servants and their families are alleged to have been involved in corruption, money laundering, and organized crime involving the states of Qatar and Morocco in exchange for influence at the European Parliament.
Qatar denies the allegations. Law enforcement authorities in Belgium, Italy and Greece seized €1.5 million in cash, confiscated computers and mobile phones, and charged four individuals with the alleged offenses.