Barcelona (CNA).- Around 200 police officers searched this morning 15 addresses, in Barcelona and Madrid, related to former Catalan President Jordi Pujol’s eldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, currently indicted for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering. The operation is run by the Spanish 'Audiencia Nacional', which is a court investigating and ruling on organised crime, terrorism and international fiscal offences, and which aims to find documentary evidence related to Jordi Pujol Jr, who is at the centre of most of the ongoing judicial investigations involving the family. The police entered the former President’s residence in Barcelona, where his sons Jordi and Oleguer are currently staying, but also Jordi Pujol Jr’s office and other residences and companies related to Pujol Jr’s businesses in Barcelona and Madrid. Despite the huge police presence, arrests are not expected. Earlier this year, former Catalan President and founder of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU in the 1970s Jordi Pujol, his wife Marta Ferrusola, and their indicted children testified before the Barcelona-based judge investigating the case.
Spanish police entered this morning the house of the President of the Catalan Government between 1980 and 2003 and founder of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU in the 1970s, Jordi Pujol. The officers searched for documentation related to his eldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, who is currently indicted for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering and at the centre of most of the ongoing judicial investigations involving the family. The police admitted to having only entered Jordi Pujol Jr’s room and having taken some boxes full of documentation related to his businesses.
Simultaneously, other officers searched Jordi Pujol Jr’s house, those of his brothers Josep and Pere, and that of his ex-wife Mercè Gironès. Jordi Pujol Jr’s office in Barcelona was also searched, as were up to 12 addresses in Barcelona and 2 other locations in Madrid. Despite the huge police presence there aren’t any arrests expected this Monday.
According to the Spanish ‘Audiencia Nacional’, which is a court investigating and ruling on organised crime, terrorism and international fiscal offences, this new phase of the operation aims to find new evidence proving Jordi Pujol Jr’s fiscal fraud and money laundering crimes. The judge José De la Mata, in charge of the investigation, ordered today’s searches after receiving documentation about Jordi Pujol Jr’s business in fiscal haven Andorra.
Related businessmen’s residences also searched
Besides the searches carried out at the former Catalan President’s house and those of three of his children, the police also entered companies and residences from businessmen whom have had a relationship with the Pujol family. Sources from the investigation confirmed that FC Barcelona vice-president Carles Vilarrubí’s house was also searched, as were the residences of Carles Sumarroca, owner of Comsa (related to centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU) and Luis Delso, president of Isolux Corsán. Both Sumarroca and Delso have already been indicted in the case for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering.
Jordi Pujol Jr, centre of the family’s ongoing judicial investigations
Earlier in the year, Jordi Pujol Jr already appeared before the anti-corruption parliamentary commission to explain his indictment for alleged fiscal fraud and money laundering. Jordi Pujol Jr gave a detailed account of many of his companies, such as the businesses he runs in Rosario (Argentina) and in other foreign countries such as Mexico and Gabon. He said he had earned a total of some €22 million between 2004 and 2013 and that he has €8 million in a Spanish bank, rejecting the rumours of a €1.8 billion fortune or €32 million in bank accounts. These are “myths”, he said. He also added that he had paid some €7.5 million in taxes on this income. Pujol Jr showed several reports from the Spanish tax agency, insisting that he had already been investigated and that no major irregularities had been found. Furthermore, Pujol Jr denied ever having operated from fiscal havens besides that which held the family money in Andorra (which came from an inheritance left by his grandfather in 1980), thus confirming his father’s July confession. In addition, he stated that he currently has no money abroad, although he admitted he has had accounts in Mexico, Miami (US) and Luxembourg in the recent past, insisting that all of them were transparent and known to the Spanish authorities.
In his testimony before the court in March, Jordi Pujol Jr explained the origins and management of the money his family had kept in the tax haven of Andorra between 1980 and 2000 without informing the Spanish tax authorities.