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US Company Bribes to Avoid Taxes

An alleged $95,000 payoff to a Thessaloniki tax official from a US tobacco products company is being looked into by the local prosecutor.

The case was brought to the attention of justice by US anti-corruption agencies.

According to depositions from members of the US company, they gave the money to the tax official in March 2003 so that their company could show losses and forsake taxation to the tune of 2.35 million euros for the period 1995-2001, paying just 650,000.

As the US businessmen stated they did so since such payoffs are common practice in Greece .

So far the inquest has shown that the payoff lined the pockets of a three-member committee, two members of which have since retired.

The prosecutor has ordered that the bank accounts related to all three be opened.