Greek Μan to Pay Nearly Half a Million Euros in Taxes for Importing 41 Gold Bars


(Photo by Eurokinissi/Yiannis Panagopoulos)

ATHENS -- A Greek man will have to pay nearly half a million euros for trying to bring into Greece 41 gold bars from Geneva in 2006 without paying tax on them, according to a decision Thursday by the Council of State (CoS).

The man resorted to Greece's highest administrative court after a lower Athens court upheld the tax and fees levied on the gold, seized at the Athens International Airport. The state levied a tax of 245,360 euros and a fine of 207,331 euros for not declaring the funds used to buy the gold on any of his annual declarations.

The bars are worth 656,435 euros and he is being called to pay 452,691 euros.

The man asked for a revision of a lower court decision, claiming the gold was "family assets since 1982" and had been invested in the stock exchange by two Swiss companies. Following the death of his mother in 2007, he said, he and his siblings decided to distribute the assets, so he flew to Geneva, retrieved the bars from UBS bank there, and returned to Greece.