Cyprus Mail

Investigators want to question Vgenopoulos (Updated)

Andreas Vgenopoulos

Cypriot authorities want to question former Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos, reports said on Wednesday, as they prepare to file charges in relation with the collapse of the economy.

Daily Politis reported that authorities have filed a request with Greece seeking to question Vgenopoulos and former Laiki CEO Efthimios Bouloutas, both Greek nationals.

The report was confirmed by police spokesman Andreas Angelides.

The spokesman said Cypriot authorities requested to travel to Greece “to take statements about specific matters in the presence of their Greek colleagues.”

The request was filed with the permission of Attorney-general Costas Clerides.

Politis said it is the final stage of the investigation into alleged market manipulation that took place between 2010 and 2011.

Investigators also want to talk to Greek bankers who held posts in Laiki at the time.

The probe relates to a case examined by the Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) at an administrative level.

Last year, CySEC had fined Vgenopoulos and Bouloutas €705,000 each.

In response, the pair sued the head of CySEC Demetra Kalogerou.

Cyprus had to close down Laiki Bank while Bank of Cyprus had to seize deposits to recapitalise in return for a €10 billion bailout in March 2013.

Vgenopoulos and 11 others, as well as his investment group MIG, are defendants in a civil suit brought against them by legacy Laiki’s administrator, who claimed they abused their power in running Laiki.

It is alleged that they knowingly took imprudent banking decisions in favour of MIG or its subsidiaries – in which they simultaneously held high-ranking positions, creating an alleged conflict of interest – thus violating their fiduciary duty to Laiki’s shareholders

Vgenopoulos, MIG and other businessmen have brought a case against the Republic of Cyprus before the International Court of Arbitration.

They are seeking damages in excess of €1 billion – the sum total of their investment in the failed bank – for “illegal actions or omissions leading to the collapse of Laiki Bank.”

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