At the mercy of the ‘Greek Mafia’ smuggling and fuel fraud

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Citizens’ complaints and reports of smuggling and fuel fraud have risen by 30% since fuel prices plunged into the Ukraine war.

The increase in prices also maximized the profits of smuggling and fuel forgery circuits, which were more intensively active, as noted by executives of the Financial Police Directorate of the Hellenic Police Headquarters.

Members of the Greek Mafia, such as “Uncle Joe”, Giannis Skaftouros, who was recently murdered in Skourta, Viotia, the also murdered Vassilis Stefanakos, Manolis Karagiannis known as “Sambrelas” or “Daizi”, and several other leading members of the Greek in their illegal “repertoire” smuggling and fuel counterfeiting, an activity that seems to have been the reason for the signing and execution of “death contracts”.

Recently, the tankers with chemical solvents from Bulgaria have increased their. Routes, while the number of information about smuggling circuits which appear as “mountain water” is growing.

Complaints and information about the installation of electronic systems in gas station pumps are just as high, which either put “air” instead of fuel, or at the same time put genuine and adulterated fuel from the legal and illegal tank.

Solvents for paint companies

Smuggling circuits and the Greek Mafia, in recent years, bring tons of chemical solvents by tankers, mainly from Bulgaria, with recipient companies “monkey”, with paints and varnishes, which do not have excise duty.

Chemical solvents are mixed with unleaded gasoline and converted into a counterfeit fuel. In fact, if the solvent admixture is 30% of the total amount of adulterated fuel, it is not detected in an on-site inspection of the competent control mechanisms unless there is relevant information and a sample of the fuel is analyzed at the General State Chemist.

Indicatively, a liter of chemical solvent costs the smuggler about… 10 minutes, and they are sold as adulterated gasoline for more than 2 euros!

Last February, officials of the Economic Police Directorate, utilizing information, located a tanker that crossed the border with 40 tons of chemical solvents, allegedly on behalf of a varnish company, which was directed directly to a gas station in West Attica.

The same executives receive complaints from citizens about interventions in the pumps of gas stations that put “air”. A citizen who had a car tank that was factory filled with 45 liters, but was given proof that he “filled” with… 55 liters! There are gas stations that have installed electronic systems in the pumps, in which they intervene with a remote control… garage door, and either put “air” or mixtures of adulterated fuels from legal and illegal tanks.

The Cypriot “bravo” and the Greek Mafia

The interconnection of fuel smugglers and the Greek mafia emerged in a case handled by officials of the Financial Police Directorate in 2019.

A 53-year-old Cypriot “bravo”, who was employed by the Cypriot authorities for assassination attempts, bombings, money laundering, etc., was the “dominant” fuel smuggling network with four groups in Greece, managed by leading members of the Greek Mafia .

The Cypriot maintained two transport companies based in the city of Pazardzhik, close to the Greek-Bulgarian border. He was arrested in late April in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, on a warrant issued by the Cypriot authorities.

In this case, 70 people were accused, members of the four groups, which were active in Aspropyrgos, Menidi and Koropi, while 25 were the gas stations, which seem to have belonged or were controlled by the members of the Greek mafia. The beginning of the investigation took place when a Cypriot tanker transported chemical solvents to a company, to the TIN of which it seemed that no tax returns were submitted.

The “sector” of Aspropyrgos, according to police sources, was under the control of “Uncle Joe”, Giannis Skaftourou, while in this case a close relative was involved, and several others who were involved or had been accused of criminal group activities.

Tankers registered in the company of the close relative of “Uncle Joe”, were found loading solvents from hidden warehouses in Aspropyrgos in order to transport them to gas stations owned by them. The “sector” of Menidi, seems to have been under the control of the also murdered Vassilis Stefanakos, who seems to have extended beyond the supply of “spoken” gas stations, to the direct transport of chemical solvents, by tankers owned by him.

The case file also includes the names of relatives of the murdered in 2018 in Haidari Vassilis Stefanakou, as well as another gas station owner who was accused of fuel smuggling at the beginning of the last decade.

The “Daisy” smuggler

The case of 2019, started after information of the Coordination Business Center of AADE after seizures of tankers in Greek-Bulgarian, and parallel reports of a competitor, alleged trafficker of adulterated fuel at gas stations owned by him.

The “competitor” had been accused of participating in a group of thugs under Manolis Karagiannis, known by the nicknames “Sambrelas”, “Daizi”, or “Karaflas”, who was murdered in the summer of 2018 in P. Faliro. In April 2019, a gas station owned by the “competitor” in the northern suburbs was the target of an armed attack with a Kalashnikov.

It is worth noting that ten days before the assassination of Giannis Skaftourou, the officers of the Financial Police Directorate raided a gas station of the “competitor”, where two hidden tanks were found, about 15,000 liters of adulterated fuel and an electronic system with remote control the switching between the legal and illegal tanks that fed the gas station pumps as well as a computer, which was connected and monitored the movement of fuel from the two illegal hidden underground tanks.

The “founder” of virtual companies

Recipients of chemical solvents in Greece, appeared companies – “ghosts” based in Attica and Thessaloniki. The “founder” was a 50-year-old Greek man, who in 2021, was arrested in Rafina, accused of attempting to kidnap a 13-year-old…

When the tankers came under the control of the customs authorities, the drivers showed fake documents and invoices that had been cut in the name of the companies-May. In November 2019, a tanker entered Greece from Bulgaria transporting chemical solvents with a receiving company in Oreokastro, Thessaloniki. The company was non-existent and the tanker ended up in a warehouse near Koropiou-Markopoulou Avenue. A few hours later from the same area, smaller tankers loaded chemical solvents from the warehouse in order to distribute the quantities to the 25 cooperating petrol stations.



Source: Capital

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