Cyprus Mail

Bouloutas and Foros will ‘sooner or later’ be brought to justice, Nicolaou says

Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou

Two former bankers sought on an international arrest warrant will ‘sooner or later’ be tracked and brought to account, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou said on Monday.

Greek nationals Efthymios Bouloutas and Markos Foros, two former bankers with Laiki Bank, are being sought by authorities in Cyprus to answer charges of mismanagement at the now-defunct lender.

They face charges of market manipulation, conspiracy to defraud, presenting false information/keeping false accounts, and concealing the decline in Laiki’s net fair value.

The charges relate to the reporting of Laiki’s accounts for the third quarter of 2011.
Bouloutas and Foros sat on Laiki’s board at the time in question. They currently hold senior positions at Marfin Investment Group (MIG), the Greek investment company that took over management of Laiki in 2006.

The case before a criminal court has been adjourned for June after the two men last week failed to show up in a Nicosia court despite a decision by judicial authorities in Greece to extradite them to Cyprus.

Laiki faced severe liquidity problems, necessitating a €1.8bn cash injection underwritten by the government in 2012. The bank still went under in March 2013.

Regarding separate investigations in Greece concerning suspected banking fraud against investors, and the possibility of a link to Cyprus, Nicolaou said these were ongoing.

Cypriot police are gathering evidence in cooperation with Greek authorities, and any tangible findings would be announced in due time, the minister said.

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