Police arrest 11 in connection with Marbella corruption

LAST UPDATED: 19 Sep, 2010 @ 20:01
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ELEVEN people including the former wife of jailed ex-Marbella mayor Julián Muñoz have been arrested in connection with town planning corruption in the Costa del Sol resort.

A one-time chairman of a top Spanish football club and the manager of a local bank were also detained as police made the arrests on November 14.

Police believe María Teresa Zaldívar – who was married to Muñoz while he was in charge of the town’s council between 2002 and 2004 – laundered 400,000 euros for her former husband in the clothes shop she runs in the Costa del Sol resort.

Also arrested was José Maria González de Caldas, the former chairman of Sevilla FC, and banker Benjamín Martínez Cantero, the manager of a branch of Cajamar in the town. Both were held on suspicion of bribery.
A civil servant from the Marbella town hall and seven building company directors were also detained. All were later released on bail.

A twelfth man who voluntarily handed himself in to police was remanded in custody after he was unable to pay bail of 500,000 euros.

Meanwhile, councillors in Marbella shared out 22 million euros in bribes from building contractors over two years, according to reports.

Constructors allegedly paid between 500,000 euros and two million euros to town councillors in the Costa del Sol resort in exchange for building licenses.

According to newspaper El Pais, a hierarchy at the council was in place with Juan Antonio Roca – the ex-urban chief considered the mastermind behind town planning corruption in Marbella – pocketing more than half the money received in bribes with former mayor Marisol Yagüe receiving 84,000 euros a licence.

The newspaper also alleges Roca had tax inspectors on his payroll and gave financial gifts to at least one judge.

The claims are based on police documents submitted to investigating magistrate Miguel Angel Torres.

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