One man was arrested and a second was wanted for defrauding a Thessaloniki businessman out of his lifetime savings of 320,000 euros in exchange for solid gold coins that turned up to be fake, security police said on Friday. The 69-year-old businessman, owner of a nightclub, who was seeking ways to secure his bank deposits, was approached by two men who sold him counterfeit gold coins that turned up to be gold-plated aluminum coins.
One of the perpetrators, a 43-year-old man, was arrested and is being questioned by Thessaloniki security police, while his accomplice is wanted.
The two approached the businessman and, citing the economic crisis, convinced him to convert his deposits into gold coins. They told the businessman that they had just found the gold coins while digging, and that was why the coins were of an old mint.
Police said that the businessman made regular withdrawals from his bank account over the space of two months, with which he paid for 1,400 gold coins.
When the businessman discovered the fraud, he informed police, who asked him to pretend that he was interested in buying more gold coins.
The 43-year-old was arrested at the rendezvous spot with the businessman while taking another 40,000 euros in marked bills from the businessman. A search of the arrestee's house later turned up a revolver.