The shipowner Michalis Zolotas spent the night at the Kifissia police station, who was arrested yesterday at noon outside his house in Kifissia by special guards of the North Attica Police.
Four decisions were pending against the 47-year-old from the Misdemeanor Court of Piraeus, one for the crime of “commonly dangerous damage” and the other three for “contributions”.
According to information, the shipowner was arrested for a case of 96 million euros, while a request has been submitted by the Cypriot authorities for his extradition, so that he can be tried there.
It is noted that at the end of 2016, the Criminal Division of the Supreme Court had decided to extradite the shipowner Michalis Zolotas to Cyprus, following an international arrest warrant issued by the Cypriot authorities against him.
The Cypriot authorities were looking for the imprisoned shipowner in order to be tried for active bribery, extortion, abuse of power, money laundering, etc.
In particular, Michalis Zolotas is accused by the Cypriot authorities along with other persons in the case of the bribery of the former governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Christodoulos Christodoulou, while his companies are said to have been lent by the MIG group.
The imprisonment of the shipowner is 3 years and 6 months.
Who is Michalis Zolotas?
Michalis Zolotas was one of the first shareholders of MIG and one of the first in Greece to cut Marfin checks. When the decision was made by Giannis Vardinogiannis to open PAE Panathinaikos, Zolotas seemed ready to contribute, putting 9 million euros in the “greens” to get in return 4.8% of the shares of PAE and a seat on the board. He left in the summer of 2010 after the refusal of Giannis Vardinogiannis to actively support Nikolas Pateras to continue in the presidency.
Zolotas initially co-signed the unification announcement of Polemi – Nika – Xyla – Davari and a few days later announced his resignation from the Board. through a “tough” announcement where he fired straight shots at Ziger. He was the first to talk about the end of multi-stakeholderism.
Michalis Zolotas third generation shipowner from Kardamyla, Chios. His mother comes from the large Lebanese shipping family in Chios. Zolotas left for the USA. for studies and returned with a degree in mechanical engineering. He immediately got involved in shipping. He set up his own company, Stamford, and in 2006 made a major move by joining forces with another Chian shipowner, Nicolas Fiste. They founded GrandUnion and entered the US stock market on NASDAQ. To do this, they acquired the almost bankrupt but listed company Aries Maritimes and renamed it Newlead.
On September 16, 2009, the company Aries, which was listed on NASDAQ, received an announcement of an exit from the Stock Exchange, after its share fell below one dollar. On the same day, Michalis Zolotas announced that he was buying a company of interests until that time of Gabriel Petridis. Following the acquisition, Vgenopoulos Investment Bank lent 145m euros to Aries, which was renamed Newlead. The new company, whose surplus value was artificially created by lending, was then used as collateral, to release a frozen account of Focus, also a company of Zolotas, which had been pledged in loans.
Michalis Zolotas resigned from the management of his company after the court decision in 2016 for his stay in prison as a temporary detainee until the decision for his extradition to Cyprus where he is accused together with Andreas Vgenopoulos for bribing the Cypriot central banker Christodoulos Christodoulou.