A CHILDHOOD friend of Francisco Granados has been accused of a central role in a ‘bid-rigging’ scandal following a massive anti-corruption crackdown.
Builder David Marjaliza was linked to Granados when large transfers between their Swiss bank accounts aroused suspicion of ‘aggravated’ money-laundering.
Francisco Granados, former number two in Madrid’s PP under Esperanza Aguirre, has been arrested after February’s revelation that he held a Swiss bank account containing €1.5 million.
In the same month – though allegedly before the investigation – Marjaliza voluntarily regulated funds in four of his accounts, taking on a tax debt of more than €10 million.
He paid off €2.5 million at the time, deferring the rest for later payment.
However, the judge presiding over Marjaliza’s initial court appearance, Eloy Velasco, said: “[Marjaliza] is the core of a criminal organisation whose activity is linked to administrative actions such as housing developments, public contracts and administrative concessions, having taken advantage of his extensive personal relationships and policies for irregular awards for both his own companies and third parties, receiving a commission for his performance.”
Granados is believed to have negotiated fees with those competing for public contracts – leading to bid values being manipulated.
Among the crimes being investigated are money-laundering, embezzlement, bribery and influence peddling.
Marjaliza’s solicitor has claimed that his client is being detained illegally, held for more than 72 hours before appearing at court.