March 9, 2021

The National Court investigates Caixabank, ING, Ibercaja and Bandenia for money laundering

The judge of the National Court José de la Mata has opened a new piece of investigation regarding the entities ING Bank, Caixabank, Ibercaja, Bandenia Banca Privada PLC and Bandenia Banca Privada branch in Spain for an alleged crime of money laundering related to the criminal activity of the latter, according to Europa Press.

On the other hand, the judge has filed the case regarding Conde-Pumpido Varela – son of the former State Attorney General – and four other people who were being investigated for money laundering crimes related to this entity while sending another ten to trial. people. In this main piece of the case, the 'screen bank' Bandemia has been investigated, dedicated to the international currency movement to hide the real holders of capital from the treasury.

With regard to the new piece, which he calls Bandemia-laundering, it is related according to the order released on Friday with the management of current accounts that this 'financial beach bar' had open in the three banks mentioned. The idea is to clarify whether these banks collaborated with the objectives of Bandenia, aimed at the international currency movement to hide the real holders of capital from the treasury.

De la Mata has released two different cars this Friday, the first of them being transformed into an abbreviated procedure of the main cause and Bandenia, thus ending the procedure instruction.

In this first resolution, in addition to sitting ten people on the bench, six legal persons are designated as civil liability subsidiaries and a period of ten days is given to present the indictments. In the second car, the magistrate opens a separate piece to investigate the alleged collaborating banks of this operation.

The investigators he proposes to judge are José Miguel Artiles Ceballos, whom he considers to be the leader of the criminal group, in addition to his collaborators Mariano Boria Zaragoza, Francisco Javier Gracia Alonso, Roque Rafael Dakins Jiménez, José Antonio Álvarez Perdigón, Alfredo Omar Guerisoli Fernández, Elvira Lozano Fernández, Omar Zeidan Chulia, Jorge Antonio González Peitavi and Ramón Castán Serres.

The investigators who are now exonerated are, in addition to Conde-Pumpido, Monica Masia Lizana, Elena Fernández Calvillo, Savatore Di Stefano and Jilong Jiang. With regard to the entities indicated as subsidiary civilians, those that constitute the Bandenia, Artiles Capital, Altalene Gestión, Noguera and Sánchez Inversiones and Melt Capital Partners group.

In this case, crimes of criminal organization, continued falsehood in commercial documents, continued fraud, money laundering, punishable insolvency and tax fraud are investigated.

In his order, the magistrate explains that the main mechanism used by Bandenia, under the control of José Miguel Artiles, to carry out currency movements under the guise of allegedly lawful activities, consisted in the opening of "omnibus" accounts in various entities Spanish financial institutions, together with the issuance of bank guarantees and the granting of loans to justify capital movements, which are formally attributed uniquely to some group company.

The Bandenia Group, according to the judge, through a complex corporate framework, appears as the holder of current accounts accumulating balances in which, for all purposes, both for the real financial institution, and for the institutions of the Spanish State, it appears as Bandenia holder.

This has motivated, continues the judge, that the Spanish banking entities with which he has operated, mainly Ibercaja and Caixabank, only knew that Bandenia, under one of its multiple corporate names, owned balances and ordered currency transfers to localized banks mainly in various tax havens, without knowing what each of the payments and charges produced obeyed.

"Thus, the Bandenia Banca Privada PLC entity would have been able to operate as a bank without being registered or authorized to do so, simply with the argument of unfolding its activity into two levels of action," said the head of the Central Court of Instruction 5.

Bank screen

The judge points out that Bandenia Banca Privada PLC has been acting in the role known as "screen bank" or "shell bank", a figure that is absolutely prohibited by national and community regulations, says the judge, adding that in the framework of This activity, which they have been carrying out without having the relevant legal qualification in Spain, the investigated persons would have concealed through their bank accounts capital movements of unknown origin, coming from people who have a clear link with criminal activities.

In his order, the magistrate also explains the operation of granting credit lines for millionaire amounts devised by those investigated as coverage for money laundering operations.

The Bandenia Group, says De la mata, also carries out its criminal activity by offering financial products that would "protect purely fraudulent mechanics, typically scams of pyramidal nature or of a miraculous nature; or that would also explain that large money sums in Bandenia's internal accounts were not reflected in credits or charges in the associated bank accounts.

Regarding Conde-Pumpido, he was investigated for "suspicious bank movements attributed to an alleged operation that responds to a pattern of behavior" prevalent among Bandenia clients, the financial beach bar where he had an account and that he would have been dedicated to cover up large amounts of money of allegedly illegal or criminal origin.

In connection with these criminal activities, another investigation remains open in the Central Court of Instruction No. 4, against the detainees of the Pompeii macro operation against money laundering and trafficking in women for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

. (tagsToTranslate) Audience (t) National (t) Caixabank (t) ING (t) Ibercaja

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