CIVIL servants and an architect claim they were forced to falsify documents to allow gangsters’ money to be laundered on the Costa del Sol.
The employees at Casares town hall insist they were ordered to cover up reports and valuations to allow Russian mafia to corrupt two ex-mayors.
In a sensational trial – dubbed the ‘mini-Gurtel’ by local political figures – nine councillors, including two mayors, are accused of laundering millions through illegal construction.
In the so-called Caso Majestic, which the Olive Press has investigated for a decade, it is claimed Armenians Robert Mani and Robert Gaspar laundered millions in illegal constructions in Casares, on the bidding of their boss Ricardo Fancini (pictured right).
Half Polish, half Italian Fancini – dubbed the ‘CEO of organised crime in Europe’ – was also involved in a similar shady corruption case surrounding the Hipodromo racecourse in Mijas.
But in Casares Town Hall he found an apparently easier, more compliant way to do business.
“The Russians treated the town hall as if it was their house,” a town hall worker claimed in court documents, seen by the Olive Press.
“They were the ones making the decisions. The mayors were simply working for them.”
The prosecutor at Malaga Provincial Court is demanding an 18-year sentence and a €1.2 million fine for ringleader Juan Sanchez, who served as mayor for 25 years.
He is accused of money laundering and breaking planning laws by taking huge fees in return for issuing illegal licences to build the Majestic housing estate between 2000 and 2005.
As the Olive Press revealed, the Russian ‘Kremlyoskaya’ gang, further laundered millions in radio and TV stations, ostensibly to promote the development.
Set up by celebrated Irish media mogul Maurice Bolland, Majestic TV and REM radio spent millions on the best quality equipment and paid staff well over the odds.
Boland was paid €20,000 a month, while they forked out tens of thousands flying in celebrities from the UK and hired disgraced PR mogul Max Clifford for tens of thousands.
However, the charade came to an end, with the tap firmly turned off, when police swooped to arrest Sanchez in 2012, with Mani picked up later.
Gaspar remains on the run, while Fancini is serving a 20-year prison sentence in the US for money laundering and arms possession.
Police embargoed 236 houses, 165 bank accounts and 19 cars, including Sanchez’ top of the range Mercedes in the initial operation.
Sanchez, who represented the communist IU party, started his career as a politician in the infamously bent GIL party set up by disgraced ex-mayor of Marbella Jesus Gil.
The court case has now been postponed to March after the defendants claimed evidence presented in opening statements had not been listed before the start of the trial.
They added it is based on hearsay, not facts.
While the prosecutor rejected the claims, insisting they ‘knew all the evidence’ to be presented, the judge agreed to suspend the case until March.