Ex Greek Minister Sentenced for Money Laundering in Siemens Scandal

Greece’s former transport Minister was found guilty on Friday of money laundering involving contracts between Siemens’ Greek unit and then state-controlled telecoms firm OTE, Reuters reported.

Siemens AG in Neuperlach-Süd copySiemens (Photo: High Contrast, CC BY 3.0 DE)Tassos Mantelis, 72, who served as the transport minister from 1996-2000, concealed 450,000 deutsche mark (about US$ 270,000) he received from Siemens via a third party for approving a contract with OTE, according to a court in Athens.

Mantelis was handed an eight year suspended sentence and fined €50,000 (US$ 58,670), AFP reported.

The director of Siemens in Greece at the time, Ilias Georgiou, also received a 12-year suspended sentence for money laundering and was ordered not to leave the country.

Mantalis had admitted to an investigating parliamentary committee in 2010 that he had accepted money from Siemens while in office, but that it had been a “campaign donation.”

A 2006 scandal revealed that Siemens had kept black coffers in the amount of €1.3 billion (US$ 1.5 billion). These hidden funds were used to pay bribes to win several large tenders around the world, including one linked to the organization of the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

In 2008, Siemens ended one of the biggest corruption probes in history when it agreed to pay about €1 billion (US$ 1.2 billion) in fines and penalties.

Mantelis’s trial is Greece's latest crackdown on corruption involving Siemens. Another lawsuit against former Greek Siemens executives accused of bribery and money laundering has been underway since 2015.

A Greek parliamentary report estimated in 2011 that the Siemens scandal has cost the government at least €2 billion (US$ 2.3 billion).