Greece: Eco-cruise NGO in fraud probe

AP News
Posted: Dec 21, 2012 12:25 PM

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Authorities in Greece say 14 people have been arrested in a major fraud investigation into a non-profit group that organized a series of environmental conferences on cruise ships attended by religious leaders and renowned experts.

Police and judicial authorities said Friday that 10 former executives of the now-disbanded Greek-based organization "Cycle of Patmos" and four of the suspects' relatives were changed with multiple counts of fraud and money laundering after €3 million ($4 million) was found missing from the group's accounts.

The group received state funding from Greece, and organized a series of major environmental events from the Arctic to the Mississippi, between 1997 and 2009, under an environmental interfaith initiative led by Archbishop Bartholomew, spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians.

The suspects were not identified.