Two Greek bankers who have been ordered to appear in court in South Cyprus in connection with the collapse of Laiki Bank, have disappeared.
An Athens court ordered that both men be extradited to South Cyprus to face charges of corruption, fraud and stock manipulation and are now being sought by the Greek police.
Former Laiki bank CEO Efthymios Bouloutas and non-executive Laiki board member Markos Foros had close links to Andreas Vgenopoulos, who many blame for the collapse of Laiki Bank and who had been accused by some politicians of bribery and corruption.
Although Vgenopoulos, himself, has not been charged, Bouloutas and Foros are persons of interest in Cyprus leading to their extradition request which was heard by the Athens High Court and ruled in favour of Cypriot prosecutors earlier this year.
The two men were told on Monday that they would be extradited to South Cyprus on 9th May so that they can appear at Nicosia Criminal Court on 11th May.
Investigators from the South will travel to Greece this week to take further statements regarding the collapse of Laiki Bank. This was the watershed event which led to a financial meltdown in the South.
Three years ago, EU Commissioners agreed to give South Cyprus a 10 million euro bailout to recapitalise the South’s considerably reduced banking sector, which saw the closure Cyprus Popular Bank (Laiki). Its deposits were transferred to the Bank of Cyprus. Deposits of over 100,000 euros were subject to a swingeing 47.5% ‘haircut’.
Cyprus since that time has seen a steep rise in unemployment and many businesses forced to close down.