By George Psyllides
A COMPANY belonging to a relative of President Nicos Anastasiades that is accused of taking money out just before a bank deposit seizure once more denied any wrongdoing on Saturday, putting it all down on a malicious attempt to politicise legal transactions.
A Loutsios and Sons, which belongs to Anastasiades’ daughter’s parents-in-law, said the allegations were untrue as it reiterated that its activities involved money transfers abroad.
Following the March Eurogroup decision to raid bank deposits, Haravghi, the mouthpiece of former ruling party AKEL, reported that the company had transferred some €21 million from its bank accounts in Laiki just days beforehand.
The family has repeatedly denied having inside information, saying it had transferred €10.5 million from Laiki to the Bank of Cyprus – in Cyprus – and an additional €10.5 million was transferred to Barclays PLC in London.
It said the reasons for the transfers were to pay for the acquisition of two properties in Greece – €1.1 million plus €400,000 for renovations – and to cover a €6.5 million bid made by the family for property belonging to the Greek government in Cyprus.
To prove its point, on Saturday the company said it had transferred over €9.5 million abroad between June 2012 and January this year – Anastasiades was elected in February.
And no one can claim the company had insider knowledge during this period, it said.
The company reiterated that it has since repatriated the money.
After a self-imposed haircut, the company donated the cash to the Church of Cyprus to be used for charity.
Loutsios said it had incurred over €20 million in losses from the closure of Laiki and the haircut in the Bank of Cyprus, not including those suffered as a shareholder of the two lenders.
“Consequently, if, as some claim, we had insider information, wouldn’t we have transferred all our deposits abroad to avoid the loss?” the company said.
“The continuous effort of linking the company’s financial activities with the President is just a malicious and deliberate bid to politicise fully legal business transactions.”
The matter came to the fore this week after Loutsios’ niece claimed in public, during the Bank of Cyprus AGM, that Anastasiades had informed the family beforehand.
AKEL latched onto the opportunity to hurt Anastasiades, who has repeatedly denied the charges.