Greek businessman Ioannis Papalekas, one of the most powerful investors in Romanian real estate, was indicted by the Directorate for Investigating Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), for complicity to embezzlement, in a case related to two Romanian investment companies, SIF Banat-Crisana (SIF1) and SIF Muntenia (SIF4), according to judicial sources quoted by Mediafax newswire.
He was questioned about a possible involvement in a financial scheme which allegedly took money out of the two investment companies and into the personal accounts of Romanian businessman Dragos Bilteanu and his business partner, Lebanese businessman Najib el Lakis.
Bilteanu was president of SIF Banat-Crisana and el Lakis was member of the board. They were both arrested last week, after several searches conducted at the two companies’ headquarters and in other locations.
Ioannis Papalekas controls Globalworth Real Estate Investments, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange, which controls some of Bucharest’s most important office buildings. Globalworth has bought four large office buildings in Bucharest this year, for a total of more than EUR 190 million and has several more projects in development.
Romanian media used to call Papalekas “the faceless vulture” as there was no official photo of his in the media, before his two visits to DIICOT.