A Madrid court will pursue a corruption case involving two businessmen over a €14.2 million PPE contract with Madrid City Council.
The deal was struck at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020 when protective medical gear was in short supply.
Luis Medina and Alberto Luceño are accused of illegal profiteering from providing gloves, masks, and rapid test kits with commissions of up to 70%.
The money was spent on buying a €1 million luxury yacht, a dozen luxury cars, and three Rolex watches, according to the prosecutor.
Luceño is said to have splashed out €60,000 on a week’s stay at a luxury Marbella hotel.
The duo are expected to testify sometime after Easter before Judge Adolfo Carretero.
The Anti-corruption prosecutor claims Medina and Luceño obtained ‘an exaggerated and unjustified economic benefit’ and wants them charged with aggravated fraud, forgery and money laundering.
It’s also alleged that Luceño lied about being the PPE’s supplier’s exclusive agent.
Luis Medina, who approached Madrid council in 2020 with news that Alberto Luceño could get PPE gear, also happens to be a friend of a cousin of the Madrid mayor, Jose Luis Martinez Almeida.
The mayor said that with hindsight, the contract was a ‘mistake’ but defended the actions at a time when authorities everywhere were scrambling for scarce PPE supplies.
“With the information we had and the situation we were in, I fully support the decision that the council’s technicians took,” the mayor said.
“We never knew that money was going to end up where it did.”
There have been some calls, mainly from political opponents, for Martinez Almeida to resign.
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