Cyprus Mail

Vgenopoulos will be questioned next week

Andreas Vgenopoulos

Greek financier and former Laiki Bank boss Andreas Vgenopoulos will be questioned by Greek authorities, following a request by Cypriot investigators, sometime next week, it emerged on Friday.
Vgenopoulos, thought by many to have been the villain in the demise of Cyprus’ second-largest lender in 2013, has been considered a key person of interest by Cypriot authorities investigating the collapse of the Cypriot economy. According to Attorney-general Costas Clerides, this is the reason the Greek businessman’s questioning wasn’t requested of Greek authorities until near the end of investigations.
Following several delays, Greek authorities finally approved a request by Cypriot investigators’ to have Vgenopoulos questioned over a particular investigation relating to Laiki – alleged market manipulation through misleading announcements to the public regarding the lender’s investment in Greek debt in 2010 and 2011 – which will take place next week.
Cypriot investigators will travel to Athens to sit in on the questioning, although with no right to ask questions, except through their Greek counterparts.
Cyprus requested Vgenopoulos’ questioning in April 2015, but the former Laiki man managed to stall the process by claiming the alleged offences took place in Athens, and were thus the jurisdiction of Greek authorities.
In addition to Vgenopoulos, Cypriot investigators also asked for the questioning of his associates at Laiki Bank and his own investment firm MIG Efthimios Bouloutas and Marcos Foros.
Local daily Politis reported on Friday that the Cypriot authorities’ request for legal assistance also relates to a case revolving around a proposed loan for €8-million to be given by Laiki to Fouad Al-Zayad, a Syrian businessman wanted by Greek authorities for his involvement in a case of bribe-taking, which landed Cypriot former minister Dinos Michaelides in jail.
According to investigators, a forged letter of guarantee was found in the documents relating to the loan, and the case appears to involve Bouloutas and Kyriacos Magiras, also one of Vgenopoulos’ associates.

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