POLICE investigating an alleged case of urban corruption in Alhaurin el Grande have found 60,000 euros in cash during a raid on a house belonging to the town’s mayor.
Juan Martín Serón is accused of asking a developer for 100,000 euros in exchange for a building licence in the Málaga province mountain town.
Officers from the specialist UDYCO money laundering branch of the Policía Nacional also found 7,000 euros, all in 500-euro notes, in the office of Serón.
The Partido Popular (PP) mayor claims the money found at his home belongs to his wife, an accountant in the town.
He also told police the 7,000 euros found in his office was petty cash for a tourist fair in Madrid, an event Serón is expected to attend at the end of January.
Serón was arrested along with Gregorio Guerra, the Alhaurin town planning chief, after having lunch with PP leader Mariano Rajoy in Marbella on January 18. Police believe the pair demanded a developer hand over 100,000 euros in exchange for a building licence.
Meanwhile, Serón ordered work to stop at a construction site in the town after the developer refused to pay a council “donation” of 12,000 euros, according to reports.
The mayor and town planning chief Gregorio Guerra stopped work on the construction of a block of flats in the town four times between 2003 and 2004 after the developer refused to pay the council the money.
Newspaper El Pais claims a lawsuit against Serón and Guerra, accusing the pair of bribery and falsification, was filed in 2005.
The council claims it needed the money to install street lighting on Calle Virgen de Gracia.
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