ATHENS – A 52-year-old Greek man of Albanian origin authorities said was a “notorious money launderer” for “the world’s foremost criminals” was arrested in an Athens suburb after an investigation by Europol with the help of Greece’s Financial and Economic Crime Unit.
The agency didn’t name him but said that the arrest came May 31 after a long investigation by Dutch police into his activities in The Netherlands where he was suspected of heading a criminal group laundering millions of euros monthly.
It wasn’t said how the dirty money was washed to prevent it being tracked to the source of criminal activity although the European Union had warned that Golden Visa schemes such as that in Greece which provide residency permits and passports to investors who buy property is open to it.
The arrest came under the work of Europol’s Toke” taskforce, which targets the networks facilitating underground banking worldwide, the breakthrough coming with the breaking of encrypted communication tools – Encrochat, Sky ECC and ANOM.
Greece’s financial crimes squad said the man was taken into custody in the seaside neighborhood of Glyfada and that the group he was involved with had handled as much as 250 million euros ($267.15 million) in 10 months.
Police said they found and confiscated currency in several denominations and cell phones, including one used for encrypted communications at his apartment after he was taken into custody.