The arms company Defex scandal has put Spanish engineering giant Elecnor on the bench.

In the Defex case, the semi-public Spanish arms company ordered the liquidation of the previous government for the first trial after a series of serious corruption scandals in Angola, Cameroon, Saudi Arabia and Brazil. The first trial, focusing on the Cameroon leg, is set to put on the bench a subsidiary of Elecnor, one of Spain’s largest engineering companies, owned by several families of the Spanish aristocracy.

Deimos Space, which owns 100% of Elecnor, intends to stand trial for criminal liability as a legal entity for alleged corruption offenses in international business transactions and money laundering.

The National Court has scheduled the first hearing for this Wednesday in the plot, which was described as “eschatological” by a person involved in the initial phases of the investigation. “Absolutely intolerable,” as Judge José de la Mata called it years ago, given the total absence of control in a largely public society devoted to the legally protected business of official secrecy, arms exports.

In this proceeding, approximately 15 million in bribes and illegal commissions are considered for obtaining public contracts signed by Defex in Cameroon between 2005 and 2013. The leader in question, José Ignacio Encina Charo, Defex’s president for more than two decades, is absent from the piece. . The main accused is its former commercial director Manuel Iglesias-Sarria. For this director, the prosecution is asking for 23 years in prison and 86 million in fines, plus 12 million in compensation as direct civil liability.

Iglesias-Saria is joined by businessmen Francisco Luque Ramirez, former commercial director of Deimos Space SLU, a subsidiary of Elecnor; and Oscar López Salvado, president of shipbuilding company Grupo Aresa Internacional. The Public Ministry demands 18 years of imprisonment and a fine of 50 million for them.

Defex and the two private companies subcontracted for their business in Cameroon are charged as legal entities. The prosecutor’s office demands more than 100 million fines and confiscation from the semi-public company. He intends to sit on the bench and be able, at the same time, to carry out a private prosecution.

In the case of Elecnor, it has filed bonds to meet its potential liability, totaling 14.325 million, offering as collateral the shares of its subsidiary Deimos. This figure, which the subsidiary of the company confirms in its reports, is lower than the claims of the prosecutor’s office.

In reports sent to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV), Elecnor states that “it will exercise its rights in the procedure, challenge the bail issued and request its gratuitous acquittal, as it does in the case of its own legal defense. former employee of the group”.

According to Elecnor, there are “no elements of convincing evidence that can be assumed with a sufficient degree of certainty, beyond any reasonable doubt, for the ultimate conviction of the company Deimos Space, SL or its former employee”. Its leaders, “in accordance with the terms of the defense case presented, believe that the likely outcome of the oral trial will be exculpatory, which will therefore not result in criminal or civil liability.”

And they do not believe that “this fact will have any impact on the recoverable amount of the net assets contributed by Deimos Group”, which is about 12 million.

Deimos Space was founded in 2001 and had a turnover of 23.8 million last year. It is dedicated to providing technology to the aerospace industry and has participated in such notable projects as the Galileo positioning system. Your 2021 reports, available through Insight View, are based on continuous activity. In them, its auditor, KPMG, introduces an emphatic paragraph stressing that it has “no provision” for this litigation.

The judge named Defex and Areza criminally responsible for the company “for their absolute lack of control in matters of corporate, economic, financial and legal organization and control, and for the absence of the most basic crime prevention mechanisms.” What prevented these criminals from behaving.”

According to de la Mata, there is ample evidence that “they acted inspired by a corporate philosophy, driven by an absolute disregard for the law and the most basic legal and ethical standards and a policy of profit at any cost.” In the case of Deimos and Aresa, “they acted on their owners’ values, or lack thereof.”

The prosecutor’s indictment highlighted the “crucial” role of Cameroonian Rear Admiral Pierre Njin Jonkam, “the recipient of gifts, travel, hotel stays and cosmetic surgery expenses” in the conspiracy to operate his wife, which Iglesias emailed. – Saria, cousin of singer Julio Iglesias (her father was the brother of doctor Julio Iglesias Puga, nicknamed Papuch).

The Elecnor subsidiary participated in the 99.3 million contract, which consisted of the coast guard service approved by the framework agreement between Iglesias-Saria and the Deputy Minister of the President, Cameroon’s Deputy Minister in charge of Defense and Alain Mebe Ngo. The middleman of that rear admiral. In just one section of the project, Iglesias-Saria would agree to a fee of more than 5 million with Bourcier.

Elecnor is a giant with more than 20,000 employees and a wide international presence. It is listed on the stock exchange (its capitalization is close to 900 million) and is controlled through the Cantiles XXI holding company (owner of 52.76% of Elecnor), by families of Spanish bourgeoisie and nobility origin, which are common. Ranking of the country’s greatest riches, such as Ibarra Careaga, Mora-Figueroa, Gonzalez de Aguilar, Domec, Morenes or Real de Asua Arteche.

The company, which does not comment on the matter, boasts on its website that in January 2018 it became “the first Spanish company in its sector” to receive UNE-ISO 37001 certification for “anti-bribery systems”, “the first”. and the most sought-after international certification standard for the articulation of management systems compliance and anti-corruption”.

Eleknor was accused years ago of allegedly paying bribes to former ambassador to India, former PP MP Gustavo de Aristegui. And he received several million dollars in fines for rigging tenders in Spain, known as the AVE cartel, which was dissolved in 2019 and was part of along with the country’s main construction companies. It was one of the pioneers to veto the CNMC’s proposal as a contractor for the administration, although it has been reserved for now.

The modus operandi in this part of the Defex story was similar to open investigations in other countries, characterized by the payment of bribes, kickbacks and gifts to middlemen and public officials. In Cameroon, the link was Defex’s commercial agent, French fugitive Philippe Bourcier, who paid bribes through seven shell companies with accounts in Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the African Republic, and secured contracts worth over 100 million. I sell auto parts, surveillance systems, riot gear and patrol weapons.

It is part of the second separate investigation into Defex contracts that de la Mata has proposed to refer to the court, after an operation related to illegal arms sales worth 152 million to Angola was moved to an abbreviated procedure. In 2019, a judge sent 24 people to trial, including Encina’s Charo, Iglesias-Sarria and retired colonel Angel María LaRumbe, as well as the former director of Defex, or Beatriz García Paesa, a Luxembourg-based lawyer and niece of the notorious Francisco Paesa. The spy who faked his death in 1998.

The investigation began in 2008 when Luxembourg was surprised by the transfer of 41 million to an account owned by Defex and another land company. The first investigation dates back to 2012, when the prosecutor’s office received a warning about possible money laundering due to operations in Luxembourg. Eight years after the case exploded into the public eye in 2014, it remains to be seen who the mysterious “relative” is. [o “King”, según los investigadores] which appeared in the plot emails and to which 3 million was transferred for the contract in Angola. Charo of Encina declined to be identified when questioned by investigators before Judge Pablo Ruiz. “Those are big words,” he insisted.

In Angola, the plot even cashed in on the visit of Pope Benedict XVI and used what he called the “sex factor” to triple the cost. Ismael Clemente, CEO of Merlin, the largest real estate company on Ibex 35, was charged in this investigation.

The Saudi branch is also awaiting trial. The local contact there was Prince Khalid bin Saad al Saud, a relative of Sultan bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, minister when the defense and aviation events occurred and Saudi Arabia’s inspector general when the investigated contracts were signed. On the Spanish side, Alvaro Cervera, the son of a late Navy rear admiral who had been a commercial agent in Saudi Arabia since 1991 and was a childhood friend of Juan Carlos I, played a leading role, El Mundo revealed. 2020 year.

In this case, the anti-corruption agency charged eight individuals and four legal entities with four crimes, asking for up to 29 years in prison earlier that year.

At Defex, which was created half a century ago as a broker for overseas arms sales, the state has co-existed with national arms companies such as Expal, its largest private shareholder, traditionally held by former army or intelligence officials and others. Like the Basque group SAPA (Indra’s current shareholder) or Instalaza, whose director was former defense minister Pedro Morenes.

The board of the Parading Defex, among others, was the current honorary president of Maxam, José Fernando Sánchez-Yunco, also very close to Juan Carlos I (his brother Javier, a former prosecutor, defended him in criminal cases), or retired admirals. Francisco Torrent and Javier Perry.

Encina Charo’s successor in the DEFEX presidency was Javier Aguilar Vijuela, who was accused in Saudi Arabia. The son-in-law of former Madrid president Cristina Cifuentes, who has always denied any ties to her husband’s family, headed the company from 2012 to 2015. His sister was also a director of a semi-public company.

Similarly, former Minister of Defense and General Secretary of the PP, Dolores de Cospedal, was an adviser to Defex from July 2002 to February 2003, when she was undersecretary with José María Aznar. Defex’s debacle allowed it to remove the thread that exposed another corruption scandal at Mercasa, another public company in Angola. His political nephew Jose Herrero de Egana y López del Hierro is accused in it.

Source: El Diario

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