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Restis shipping business operations continue despite arrest

Restis shipping business operations continue despite arrest
Katia Restis, sister of Greek shipowner businessman, Victor Restis, imprisoned pending trial on money laundering and embezzlement charges, says the family’s shipping business will continue to operate.

The Greek shipowner, controls a fleet of around 90 bulkers and tankers, says its business continuity plan had been activated in the wake of events. It said the action had been taken to ensure the company, its partners and its people are not “impacted by any externalities”.

Katia Restis said in a statement on behalf of the Restis family: “We are committed to ensuring the company founded by my late father some 40 years ago, continues to perform all its obligations and to serve its clients and customers in the same reliable and timely manner we have consistently delivered.

“In relation to the foundless allegations being made against my brother, Victor, we are adamant that clarity, proportionality and fairness will prevail.” She added: “We will continue to co-operate fully with the Greek authorities in order to ensure justice and truth will be established.”

Restis was arrested on 23 July and charged with embezzlement and money laundering in connection with a EUR5.8m ($7.7m) loan issued by First Business Bank (FB Bank), of which he was until recently a major shareholder and non-executive chairman. FB Bank was absorbed by the National Bank of Greece in May.

Restis was remanded in custody on 26 July after a four-hour appearance before a public prosecutor. Athens-based Restis maintains his innocence and "as an act of goodwill on his part" will deposit EUR5.8m in an escrow account held by the state's Deposit & Loans Fund, with the view to taking it back after the court case.

On 29 July, Athens leading daily Kathimerini reported a Bank of Greece investigation reveals almost two-thirds of the business loans provided in the first half of 2012 by FB Bank, went to companies either linked to Restis or the lender’s shareholders.

FB Bank, handed out EUR55.5m in business loans during the first half of 2012, according to Kathimerini. Of this EUR17.2m went to firms that were part of Restis group and another EUR18.9m was provided to companies of shareholders.

Related stories:

Greek shipping magnate Victor Restis arrested

Victor Restis ups the ante in Iran allegations squabble

Victor Restis refutes Iranian business links

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