LAOS Chief Probe Intensifies

ATHENS  – An investigation into the financial doings of far right-wing LAOS party head Giorgos Karatzaferis has reportedly found millions of dollars in foreign bank accounts.

A parliamentary committee is looking into his declaration of wealth, the pothen esches required of politicians and found the undeclared money, Kathimerini said.

Karatzaferis, who served as a junior partner in Greece’s governing coalition from 2011 to 2012, could face a range of criminal charges including money laundering if he is unable to justify the source of the money in those accounts.

After the 2012 elections, key members of his party defected to the ruling New Democracy Conservatives of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and become ministers and leading figures.

A judicial investigation that prompted the probe by Parliament’s pothen esches committee indicated that at least 1.65 million euros in payments were made to offshore companies connected to Karatzaferis by businessmen acting as middlemen in the sale of Super Puma helicopters to Greek authorities.

The payments were made in 2007 and 2008, according to the probe. The deal itself was signed in 2000 during the stint as defense minister of Akis Tsochatzopoulos, now in jail for money laundering.

Another suspect, retired army officer Ioannis Rammos, the Deputy Regional Governor of Fokida, in central Greece, resigned on Nov. 17 after his name was linked to the probe.