Fourth suspect in ex-minister money laundering probe in custody

A fourth suspect wanted for questioning in connection with the money laundering charges that led to the arrest of former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos on Wednesday has reportedly handed himself in.

Asterios Economidis was being sought by police on Wednesday but appeared before judicial officials on Thursday on his own, according to reports.

Economidis is one of three heads of offshore companies that are being charged along with Tsochatzopoulos. The ex-minister’s accountant is also facing charges.

Meanwhile, Tsochatzopoulos’s daughter, Areti, has issued a media statement denying media reports that gold bars were found at her home.

She said that police seized 10 gold leaves, which weigh 99 grams each and have a total value of 29,000 euros. She added that officers also took away nine 1935 gold sovereigns that she inherited from her grandfather.

Tsochatzopoulos’s wife and daughter could also face charges in connection to the probe into the veteran politician’s property dealings.

According to sources, prosecutors worked with the financial crimes squad (SDOE) to collect evidence that suggests Tsochatzopoulos profited from under-the-table payments for the purchase of submarines and missile systems when he was defense minister and that this money was distributed to offshore companies that were used to buy the properties.

The former minister, who has been ousted from PASOK, denies any wrongdoing.  

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