JULY 23, 2013 — Greek shipowner Victor Restis now has more immediate problems than the suggestions by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) that he has been involved in Iran sanctions busting.
Mr. Restis has loudly denied the UANI charges and on July 19 filed a defamation suit against UANI and its CEO, Mark D. Wallace, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Today, though, Mr. Restis's main concern will be with what happens in an Athens court.
Greek media say that this morning he was arrested outside his office in a northern suburb of Athens on suspicion of money laundering and embezzlement and was expected to appear before a prosecutor later in the day.
In addition to his Enterprises Shipping & Trading S.A, Mr. Restis has a stake in a Greek newspaper and other media holdings. His family owned a majority stake in First Business Bank (FBBank)
FBBank's license was revoked May 11, 2013 after it failed to raise the necessary funds to make it eligible for recapitalization.Its healthy assets were absorbed by National Bank of Greece.
According to reports, the allegations against Mr. Restis involve €500 million in bad loans given by FBBank to companies he controlled.
Reportedly, police are seeking three other suspects.