Civil servants under investigation for transfering money to foreign banks

More than 5,000 Greek civil servants are set to be investigated for transferring about 1.5 billion euros to foreign banks since 2010, it emerged on Thursday.

Based on figures released by the Administrative Reform Ministry, out of some 5,260 civil servants or members of their families who transferred money, nearly half of them were involved in the education sector, while the remaining were mainly in the health (predominantly doctors), defense, finance and public works sectors.

Following an order issued by Administrative Reform Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis for the Inspectors-Controllers Body for Public Administration (SEEDD) to conduct the checks, it appeared that 415 out of the 5,260 employees, whose total amount in cash transfers came to 117 million euros (on average 283,000 euros per employee), had recently left public service for a number of reasons.

A statement released by the ministry on Thursday noted that the investigation was expected to cover almost the entire civil service, with the exception of certain categories which did not fall under its jurisdiction, such as judges and police and coast guard officers, among others.

In a separate development on Thursday, Democratic Left chief Fotis Kouvelis and another five party MPs asked the government to clarify whether Greek authorities were investigating allegations made by Swiss prosecutors that certain Greek businessmen were conducting money-laundering activities via Swiss lenders.