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Ex-Siemens exec tried to transfer money abroad

A former manager at a Greek branch of German industrial giant Siemens AG, who is accused of corruption regarding a state telecommunication contract, tried to transfer a significant amount of money and buy property in Uruguay, Greece's foreign ministry disclosed on Saturday.

Christos Karavellas has been charged with bribery and money laundering over the deal, which took place in the late 1990s.

An arrest warrant was issued against Karavellas on Friday after he failed to appear before a magistrate.

According to the ministry, Uruguay's national service for the prosecution of money laundering crimes alerted the Greek embassy on May 23 that Karavellas and members of his family had transferred money to Uruguay and bought a property there.

His lawyer told Greek authorities on Friday that his client was in Germany.

Greek authorities have also issued an international arrest warrant for former senior Siemens Greece official Michalis Christoforakos on similar charges. Christoforakos is also said to be in Germany.

A total of six former Siemens Greece officials - two of whom are in jail pending trial - have been charged, as well as a former official with the country's largest telco, OTE.

Siemens is being investigated in several countries for possible bribery and corruption in its communications group. It has said it is cooperating in all the investigations, and has introduced changes designed to make its corporate structure leaner and more transparent.

Siemens' own probe has found evidence of violations across the company and in several countries.


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