Spanish TV producer who “wanted to create a bank in Malta for money from organised crime” arrested for AML and fraud crimes

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El Pais – Spanish National Police agents have arrested television producer José Luis Moreno this Tuesday at his home in Boadilla del Monte (Madrid) for an alleged crime of fraud and money laundering, sources from the Higher Headquarters of the Madrid Police have confirmed. “They wanted to create a bank in Malta for money from organized crime,” say sources of the investigation.

According to the police, it is an international network that took advantage of “its corporate structure to launder the black money of drug trafficking organizations,” the agents describe in a note.

El Pais reports that these arrests are part of the last phase of an investigation that the National Police and the Civil Guard have carried out for two years. With the arrests “the network is completely dismantled, by locating the people dedicated to raising funds,” the police note collects. The organisation had more than 700 companies to achieve its illicit purposes, the same sources say.

In total, there are 53 detainees allegedly involved, including five directors of banking entities in Madrid, according to sources from the Barcelona Civil Guard, which collaborates in the operation directed by the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the Madrid Headquarters and the Central Court of Instruction number 2 of the National Court. 

The detained are charged with the “crimes of continued fraud, falsification of documents, money laundering and belonging to a criminal organization,” according to sources in the investigation.

The producer is being investigated for allegedly being part of that international business network through which the profits obtained in his multiple businesses, largely linked to the audiovisual world, were diverted. Researchers estimate that the fraud could reach 50 million euros.

“The scammers created merchants with a good reputation to offer business projects of all kinds that never materialized, with the active participation in the crime of bank directors, a notary’s office and even television producers,” explains the note sent by the Civil Guard .

The arrest of Moreno, 74, has taken place in Madrid within the framework of this operation, which is under summary secrecy. This morning, the agents have carried out a search of the producer’s home, with the presence of the Canine Guides Unit. The operation is being carried out in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​as confirmed by sources of the investigation.

The fruit of the crime that was laundered by those investigated was destined, among other countries, Switzerland, Panama and the Maldives, describes the note from the Civil Guard. “The capacity of this organization was remarkable since they not only had a paid notary, but among their projects was to create a bank in Malta designed for economic crime,” they confirm.

The investigation was born in 2018 as a result of several complaints from banking entities that accused the organization of having defrauded more than 1.3 million euros by abusing banking operations.

The organization took advantage of its business network to launder money from drug trafficking to third parties, say the investigators of the armed institute. “They simulated an activity that was non-existent to justify the millionaire cash income generated from drug sales,” they explain.

During the investigation, the Civil Guard agents carried out an intervention in which more than one million euros in cash were seized from a “mule” (drug courier), who “worked for this organization transporting, in vehicles with double bottom , large amounts of cash throughout the national territory from the sale of drugs inside and outside our borders ”, the same sources quoted by El Pais say.

On the other hand, the businessman, promoter of successful series such as Aqui hay que viva or La que se avecina, donated between 1999 and 2003 some 60,000 euros to the PP, which were included in the accounting b, according to the former treasurer of Luis Bárcenas party to the judge of the Gürtel case in the National Court, Pablo Ruz. Bárcenas then assured the judge that the ten entries for one million pesetas and 6,000 euros in the name of “Moreno” and “José Luis Moreno” that appeared in his manuscripts corresponded to donations from the producer.

El Pais / Spanish Police