Four arrested in Russian money laundering plot in the south of Tenerife
The Guardia Civil and the State Tax Administration Agency (AEAT) have dismantled an organisation accused of laundering black money from Russia through a Spanish company that acquired the old Tropicana nightclub in Adeje in the south of Tenerife to convert it into a luxury shopping centre.
Within the framework of an operation called ‘Isla Sorna’, developed by the Guardia Civil in Tenerife, four people of Russian and Spanish nationality have been arrested, for tax evasion and avoiding fiscal obligations before the Spanish Public Treasury, according to an official press release.
The investigation discovered that the four people involved used foreign investment companies and funds, shell companies, and trust offices to finance themselves with funds originating in Russia that they sent to Tenerife through tax havens and zero-tax territories, thus avoiding any fiscal and tax responsibility.
The investigation first dates back to early 2018, when the Guardia Civil detected that a Spanish company had previously been financing itself through private loans, granted by citizens of Russian origin.
A few months earlier, this company had bought the land of the Tropicana nightclub in Adeje, to convert it into a luxury shopping centre.
The joint investigation by the Guardia Civil and the Tax Agency revealed that the company, to start its reconversion project, had to resort to investment funds and foreign companies with Russian capital of dubious origin.
Specifically, they resorted to financing sources through nationalized companies in Australia, Luxembourg, and the British Virgin Islands, the latter place where one of the lending companies was linked to a fiduciary office associated with a multitude of shell companies.
Through the use of these, they obtained mortgage loans for amounts greater than 23 million euros, some of them with interest of up to 25%.
The economic analysis carried out to date during the investigation, has determined the route for the introduction of the money into Tenerife, which is compatible with the ‘phases of money laundering’ in accordance with the criteria established by the Commission for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Monetary Offenses (SEPBLAC).
In total, six searches have been carried out, four of them in the homes of those under investigation, and two in commercial companies in Tenerife, in which abundant documentation of an economic nature (mainly accounting and billing), cash, as well as telephony, computers and electronic devices have been seized.
The Investigating Court number 3 of Arona, which has acted in coordination with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, has agreed to the preventive annotation of blocking and disposition of movable and immovable property, for a total amount of approximately 45 million euros, to guarantee possible civil and pecuniary responsibilities.
Other articles that may interest you...