April 10, 2021

The peaceful life in Colombia of 'Charly', presumed brain of the scam of the 'ghost houses' in Mallorca | Economy

The peaceful life in Colombia of 'Charly', presumed brain of the scam of the 'ghost houses' in Mallorca | Economy

Carlos García-Roldán, the alleged master of the biggest real estate scam in the Balearic Islands. On video, the arrest of the alleged fraudster.

The life of Carlos García-Roldán in the small town of Buga was that of another citizen. Located in the department of Valle del Cauca, about 70 kilometers from Cali and in the heart of Colombia, the tourist resort offered anonymity to the Civil Guard considered as the brain of the largest real estate scam in the Balearic Islands, which has left no savings and with the promise of a home to more than 300 people in Mallorca. García Roldán, known among his friends as 'Charly', landed in Bogotá on April 12 last year from Paris.

At that time the complaints of several clients of his company, the promoter Luxury House, began to pile up in the offices of several judges of Palma. The modus operandi always seemed the same: García-Roldán offered a flat home at an adjusted price and with advantages to pay, demanded 10% of the price of the property in advance and then made excuses to justify the delays in the construction. The denunciations turned into an avalanche when the shutter of the business closed from one day to another and disappeared from the map without explanations.

'Charly' flew to Bogotá in April and took refuge in the house of his girlfriend's grandmother in Buga. There, according to his partner told the Civil Guard when the operation to dismantle the plot in August, the fugitive spent hours without office or benefit, between gym sessions and walks to run errands with the old woman. The sessions of weights took effect, since García-Roldán was arrested last week with several kilos less and an almost unrecognizable aspect. His visible thinness, a dull black hair dye that covered the gaudy blonde characteristic of his time in Mallorca, together with an incipient gray beard, allowed him to radically change his appearance and go unnoticed in recent months.


The Civil Guard had located the fugitive for some months, in which an order of international search and arrest was issued and his extradition to Spain was requested. It was his partner who revealed that 'Charly' had been living in Buga for several months. The young woman explained, according to a statement to the investigators, that she went to Colombia a month after the flight and three months before the operation that led to the arrest of ten people and the freezing of 98 bank accounts and 38 real estate properties. The young woman said that during her vacation in the South American country she saw how the businessman kept stacks of bills in the drawer of the bedside table in his bedroom.

Although the couple had a few months of relationship, the girl said that 'Charly' had given him a credit card with the slogan that he would use it "for everything". He also revealed that the businessman had put a hairdresser on behalf of his cousin in Tarragona, that he had bought a flat in the name of another woman in Ecuador and that other girls had another credit card like his. Before her escape to Colombia, the alleged fraudster handed over 10,000 euros that she was sending to Buga through transactions through their relatives made in booths. The young woman returned to testify a few weeks later to the investigators, who warned that Charly had dyed her hair black and could be hiding in the neighboring town of Geneva.

Neither the hair dye, nor the weights, nor the beard they served García-Roldán to avoid his arrest. On February 5, two civil guards from Mallorca displaced to Buga and two members of the Colombian National Police detained 'Charly' at night, outside the house of his girlfriend's grandmother. The arrested man was transferred to Bogotá, where he waits in a jail for his extradition to Spain. On the detainee weighed a red notification from Interpol for an offense of money laundering and an extradition request.

Researchers are still trying to clarify the fate of more than five million euros in those who estimate the scam and suspect they may be abroad. The complexity of the corporate framework has led agents to study more than 350,000 banking movements to clarify the fate of the money advanced for 17 real estate developments. Meanwhile, the victims await the return of 'Charly' to Spain and hope to be able to recover at least part of their savings.


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