Spain’s no. 2 Bank BBVA Charged for the Spy Case
The judge of the National Court Manuel Garcia Castellon has decided on Monday to charge the BBVA bank as a legal entity for bribery crimes, discovery and disclosure of secrets and corruption in business, for hiring the services of former Police Commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo to allegedly spy Sacyr when he tried to take control of the entity in 2004.
The decision is taken after the study of the report on the case of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office, which requested the imputation of the entity last week. After analyzing the documentation of the cause and the one provided by the bank itself, the Public Prosecutor’s Office considers that “illegal contracts and payments” were made from the entity to the Cenyt company, owned by Villarejo, which affected sensitive areas of the bank and various executives “for a prolonged period of time.”
The payments for the services, which would have been extended until 2017, would amount to 10 million euros.
The judge now urges the company to appoint a person to represent him before the Hearing from now on. It also rejects persone as injured as requested.
That of BBVA is a separate piece of Operation Tandem, which investigates espionage work carried out by the ex-commissioner. The second largest bank in Spain would have hired Cenyt to allegedly investigate Sacyr leaders with the idea of blocking an opa by the construction company in 2004.
The bank has officially recognized that it hired the company of Villarejo, who was arrested in 2017 as part of another investigation and is in prison. However, the entity says it has not found any espionage evidence. The payments for the services, which would have been extended until 2017 and always during the presidency of Francisco Gonzalez, would amount to 10 million euros.
The former president of BBVA Francisco Gonzalez upon his arrival at the National Court to testify as a witness, at the beginning of April.
The former president of BBVA Francisco Gonzalez upon his arrival at the National Court to testify as a witness, at the beginning of April
Anticorrupcion maintained in its writing that BBVA, under the direction of Gonzalez, hired the business network of Villarejo for the development of intelligence services, “of an economic nature and illegal nature”, in addition to personal follow-ups and access to communications or bank documentation that , in his opinion, supposed “multiple” violations of fundamental rights of several people.
The entity has recognized the hiring of services, but not for espionage
The entity said last week that it is collaborating with justice and as proof of its interest in clarifying the facts, said it has proactively shared with the Justice the “relevant” findings of the ‘forensic’ internal investigation commissioned by Uria Menéedez, PwC and Garrigues.
On Monday, Anti-Corruption withdrew the bail of 500,000 euros to avoid the prison to which he was head of the Area of Risks and Real Estate Recovery of BBVA Antonio Bejar. Bejar has just been dismissed from his position in the Castellana Norte District, the promoter of ‘Madrid Nuevo Norte’ after 26 years.