Saturday November 2, 2013 : GREEK POLICE CLAIM OPAP USED FOR MONEY LAUNDERING
No hard numbers, but police believe they have evidence of an elaborate scheme to launder drug money.
Greek police investigations into a drug-running operation involving Greeks, Albanians and Russians have thrown up allegations that the state gambling monopoly OPAP was used as a vehicle to launder the ill-gotten gains, a growing number of Greek newspapers reported Saturday.
Part of the police enquiry appears to have been focused on what the arrested drug smugglers did with the large sums of money accrued from the illegal trade, and at least some of it – as much as a million Euros a year by some reports – went through OPAP in an elaborate scheme involving OPAP prize winners.
It is claimed that the drug cartel tracked down big OPAP winners, using techniques that are not disclosed. The winner would then be offered an up to 15 percent premium on the value of his or her winner's slip, and the criminals would then take the slip and redeem the winnings.
Police reports flag the high incidence of OPAP wins on the part of known members of the drug cartel, observing that such good fortune defied the law of probabilities.
OPAP was recently acquired by the Emma Delta consortium as the Greek government struggled to privatise state assets in order to stave off economic collapse