A Year Since Former King Juan Carlos Fled Spain Over Allegations of Corruption

“Now, guided by the conviction of giving the best service to the Spaniards, to their institutions and to you, as King, I inform you of my deliberate decision to move, for the time being, out of Spain.” With these words, the Emeritus King of Spain, Juan Carlos I, informed the current monarch, Felipe VI, that he was fleeing the state pushed by allegations of corruption, illegal commissions, and money laundering. This move was made to evade justice and to clean up the image of his son and the remaining monarchy.

The ex-king is currently living a life of luxury on Zaya Nuri Island, a 15-minute boat ride from Abu Dhabi, as revealed by Spanish media. “It is an exclusive refuge for potentates, with a five-star hotel complex and eleven large mansions, where restaurants and leisure venues do not have opening hours, but open when their select clientele wishes to visit them. The mansion where the King Emeritus is staying has 1,050 square meters and 4,100 more plots, with six bedrooms, seven toilets, a swimming pool, and access to a private beach.”

Juan Carlos is under the protection of his friend Mohamed bin Zayeb Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince and strongman of the United Arab Emirates and the Spanish state that, despite all the cases of corruption is still providing him personal security through a permanent escort of four agents of the Spanish Civil Guard, to whom the Spanish Ministry of the Interior pays the allowances, salary and travel expenses. To make matters worse, he also has three shift assistants. A cost that has not yet been determined because the Spanish government has refused to make it public.

Investigations on the corruption of Juan Carlos

Illegal commissions

In June 2020, the Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office started an investigation against Juan Carlos for alleged crimes of money laundering and tax crime. It involves the possible commission of one hundred million dollars for his mediation to give a Spanish company the contract for the construction of a high-speed rail line AVE to join the cities of Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The millions ended up deposited in the Mirabaud bank in Geneva, Switzerland, in an account owned by an offshore company called the Lucum Foundation – which disappeared in 2012 – of which Juan Carlos was the first beneficiary and his son the second, though the latter ended up renouncing his personal inheritance from his father after it was alleged that he was set to receive millions of euros from a secret offshore fund linked to Saudi Arabia.

Royal black cards

The second case investigates the expenses with opaque credit cards of Juan Carlos and a few relatives. These funds allegedly came from Nicolás Murga Mendoza, assistant to the emeritus king and colonel of the Spanish Air Force, who supposedly acted as an iron fist to facilitate the family’s access to the money of Mexican millionaire Jesús Sanginés-Krause. Bank movements and expenses were made after the abdication of Juan Carlos, so it was no longer inviolable. In relation to this point, the lawyers of the emeritus communicated on December 9 a regularization payment of 678,393.72 euros to the “Tax Authorities” in an attempt to evade justice.

Hidden money on the Island of Jersey

The Public Ministry opened a third investigation seeking to find out whether Juan Carlos hid ten million euros on the island of Jersey. This investigation was opened after receiving a report from the Executive Service of the Bank of Spain’s Money Laundering Prevention Commission (SEPBLAC) on a “hidden fortune.”

Additional Investigations

Switzerland

Prosecutor Yves Bertossa opened an investigation on the offshore structures with which Juan Carlos allegedly managed the “donation” from the Saudi monarchy and other expenses through the entities Zagatka and Lucum. Bertossa is also investigating the donation of part of this money to his ex-lover Corinna Larsen, who sued the monarch and the Spanish secret services before the British High Court for subjecting her to illegal “surveillance” in the United Kingdom “from 2012 to the present.”

Arms trafficking and tax evasion

A recent journalistic investigation published in the newspaper Público indicates that the emeritus would have enriched himself through tax evasion and arms trafficking, as well as through the collection of commissions through a network of businessmen and magnates such as the Saudi Adnan Khashoggi or the king of Saudi Arabia, Salmán Bin Abdulaziz.

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