Marinakis denies drugs charges

Greek shipping tycoon Vangelis Marinakis has denied links to drug trafficking, following preliminary charges brought against him by a Greek prosecutor. Marinakis reportedly has been charged with financing and storing drugs, and organizing a group to traffic and sell drugs illegally.

Marinakis, 50, said that the charges had no legal basis; he accused the country’s government of plotting against him. “There is not the least evidence against me”, he said on the Olympiakos website, adding that “members of the governing coalition have persistently targeted me”. He concluded by saying that any investigation would prove his innocence.

The case began in 2014 when the Greek coastguard discovered a two-tonne drug cache, mainly heroin, aboard small tanker Noor One (IMO 5039707) and in a warehouse near Athens. A total of 15 people have been jailed as a result.

The charges were apparently brought against Marinakis after a preliminary investigation into financial transfers relating to the financing of the tanker.

Court authorities have not made any public announcements on the case.

1963-built, 627 gt Noor One is now owned by Axia Shiptrading SA care of manager Bronte Ventures Inc of Athens, Greece.