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Police uncover a network that bought luxury homes in Spain for corrupt senior Russian officials


They bought villas and mansions worth 25 million euros with money from the controversial 'Magnitsky case', the lawyer who denounced the fraud and died in a Moscow prison in 2009

A plot dismantled in Spain had bought 75 luxury properties and houses valued at 25 million euros on behalf of Russian citizens (with little ties to Spain) or companies based in Spain with ties to Russian companies, according to what agents have confirmed so far. of the Attached Unit of the National Police to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office.

It is the way in which, allegedly, "senior officials" of the Russian government laundered in our country the money from what is known as the Magnitsky case, in reference to Sergei Leonidovich Magnitsky, a

Russian lawyer who exposed fraud, theft and corruption within the government of Vladimir Putin, and who died after almost a year in preventive detention in the Butyrka prison in Moscow, after a brutal beating, on November 16, 2009.

Although the operation is still open, with fringes in 12 other countries and a thousand bank accounts under investigation, in Spain, for the moment, there is only one person, a woman, arrested in Tenerife, and four searches have been made.

But future arrests or new police and judicial actions related to the facts investigated are not ruled out.

đźš©Agents from the @police, in collaboration with @Europol,

have seized properties worth 25 million #euros đź’µ

👉They are related to a #corruption case committed in 📍#Russia in which more than 230 million dollars were defrauded# CasoMagnitsky#SomosTuPolicía

– National Police (@policia) December 14, 2022

Now, following the trail of the 230 million dollars that Magnitski indicated had been defrauded, and analyzing information corresponding to purchases by Russian citizens in Spain, agents of the National Police, in a joint operation with Europol, have seized dozens of properties valued at about 25,000,000 euros, according to a note sent this Wednesday.

“This is the first operational exploitation in Spain of the so-called


case , a fraud that began with the theft of documentation from companies related to a Russian investment fund with which the corrupt officials who carried it out fraudulently claimed a return. millionaire the Russian Public Treasury ”, explains the note.

The National Police issued more than 40 reports to prove how funds were received in our country, originating from foreign accounts and companies.

"The investigation carried out in Spain has detected a network of natural persons (the majority are Russian citizens with hardly any ties to our country) and legal entities, who would have received part of these fraudulent funds for the acquisition of real estate," they say.

In addition, they have detected people of Russian descent who have bought luxury mansions with funds from this plot.

1,000 bank accounts under suspicion

Researchers have observed two

modus operandi.

On the one hand, the money from the fraud went directly to the bank accounts of Russian citizens, supposedly domiciled in Spain for the acquisition of the properties.

On the other, they used Spanish real estate agencies, with strong ties to the Russian market, which acted as intermediaries, both for receiving the funds through their own bank accounts, and managing the location and purchase of the goods.

The agents are now analyzing more than 1,000 Spanish bank accounts to determine the criminal responsibility of those involved, "in an unprecedented investigation due to the amount of information that is handled," they say.

Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in an image provided by Hermitage Capital Management and taken in 2009 in Moscow.

The investigation, directed from the Court of Instruction number 2 of the National Court, has had the support of a specialist from the Anti-Corruption Group of the European Center against Economic and Financial Crime (EFECC) of Europol, who traveled to the Island of Tenerife to support Spanish investigators and analyze other possible links to corruption that may exist.

In addition, five European Investigation Orders and one International Letter of Request have been processed, and information has been requested through Eurojust from 12 countries that are part of said institution.

In the records, the agents intervened abundant documentation that, after a first analysis, would confirm the hypotheses of the researchers.

Some 30,000 euros in cash and various jewels have also been involved.

On the other hand, the agents have requested the seizure of three other properties, two high-end vehicles and 19 bank accounts linked to the only one detained at the moment.

Source: elparis

All news articles on 2022-12-14

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