Spanish ex-IMF boss arrested for money laundering

This video says about itself:

Spain’s politicians accused of corruption

20 February 2013

Mariano Rajoy, Spain’s Prime Minister, faces parliament on Wednesday for his “state of the nation” address.

He is expected to face questions about whether he and his party were taking cash payments for years.

More than 300 Spanish politicians, including a member of the royal family, are facing graft allegations of one form or another.

Al Jazeera’s Rory Challands reports from Madrid.

The International Monetary Fund preaches ‘austerity‘ all over the world, jointly with the European Central Bank and the European Commission; ruining economies, driving millions of people into poverty and/or suicide, undermining democracy.

Today, British daily The Guardian reports that IMF boss Ms Christine Lagarde tries to wreck the new Greek government, elected by the voters on an anti-austerity platform. Though that new government had already made many concessions to the IMF/ECB/EU ‘troika‘, Ms Lagarde thinks that is still not enough poverty and suicides in Greece.

European Union, banks ramp up pressure on Greece’s Syriza government: here.

Meanwhile, one IMF boss after another turns out to be involved in scandals.

French IMF boss Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s rape and prostitution scandals

Then, his successor, also French, Christine Lagarde, up to her neck in the scandals of the right wing Sarkozy government in which she was minister.

IMF head Christine Lagarde praises UK for austerity measures: here.

And now, another IMF boss; from daily El Pais in Spain:

Ex-IMF chief filed for 2012 tax amnesty

Rodrigo Rato is allegedly also being investigated for possible money laundering

Íñigo de Barrón / Javier Ayuso Madrid 15 ABR 2015 – 12:01 CEST

Rodrigo Rato, a former government official with the Popular Party (PP) who also served as head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), applied for a 2012 tax amnesty that authorities now believe may have been used by some beneficiaries for money laundering purposes, government sources have told EL PAÍS.

“This is a personal matter and I don’t think I have any obligation to make a statement,” said Rato, who neither denied nor confirmed the revelations.

Rato is already the target of another investigation into his role as chairman of failed savings bank Caja Madrid.

According to the online publication Vozpopuli, Rato was one of the 31,000 or so individuals who applied for a tax amnesty offered by the PP administration of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy in 2012 in a bid to shed light on an estimated €25 billion hidden away in offshore accounts.

But because the offer did not initially produce the desired results, the government lowered the penalty rates and allowed contributions in cash. This last decision is believed to have opened the door to money laundering.

In February of this year, the Tax Agency announced an investigation into 705 taxpayers that it suspects may have used the amnesty to launder money.

Rato was included on this list of 705 suspect cases, which was sent to the Executive Service for Prevention and Capital Laundering (Sepblac).

Asked whether he was being investigated by this agency, Rato told EL PAÍS that “I have received no document from any agency stating that I am being investigated by Sepblac.”

Rato, who headed the IMF between 2004 and 2007 and served as deputy prime minister and economy minister in the late 1990s and early 2000s, is already the target of another investigation into his role as chairman of Caja Madrid, the failed savings bank, and its successor Bankia.

An investigating judge is holding Rato and his predecessor, Miguel Blesa, responsible for the credit card abuse that went on at both lenders, where board members and top managers were handed “black cards” with a monthly spending limit that they could use for personal purposes. These cards were not declared to the Tax Agency, nor did the monthly allowances show up as part of the beneficiaries’ salary.

Between 2003 and 2012, 83 executives and board members racked up €15.5 million in expenses that included travel, gourmet restaurants and jewelry.

Finally, Rato is under scrutiny for the way Bankia was floated on the Spanish stock exchange, a move that investigators believe may have involved fraud and document forgery.

According to Vozpopuli, investigators realized that Rato had benefited from the tax regularization when they were looking into a €6 million payment he received from Lazard (where he worked before joining Caja Madrid) into an offshore account in 2011, after Bankia’s flotation.

The opposition wants to know

I.B. / J.A.

News that Rodrigo Rato is one of the people who applied for the 2012 tax amnesty triggered immediate political reaction. The PP spokesman in Congress, Rafael Hernando, said it proves “that it this country everyone gets investigated, no matter who they are.”

But the opposition criticized the possibility that Rato may have engaged in money laundering.

Socialist deputy Carmen Montón called it “a scandal” that Rato may have laundered money, considering that he was an economy minister, the chairman of a bank and even the managing director of the IMF.

“It would be simpler if the PP and the government just told us which members of their party applied for the tax amnesty,” she said. “It would go faster, because the list just goes on and on.”

A representative for the leftist group Izquierda Plural, José Luis Centella, said the problem is not so much whether Rato benefited for the amnesty or not, but that such a thing existed at all.

He also said the government should have made public the names of the people who applied for the extraordinary regularization process, as authorities call it.

UpyD leader Rosa Díez noted that her center party has repeatedly asked for these names, and wondered “to what extent the goal of the amnesty was to ‘launder’ the government’s friends and all their businesses.”

Spanish former IMF chief Rodrigo Rato detained: here.

34 thoughts on “Spanish ex-IMF boss arrested for money laundering

  1. It isn’t just Spain, unfortunately, this is happening all over the world.
    Most governments have set themselves up like CEO’s of multinationals. Since their polictical campaigns are financed by the multinationals they’ve acquired the same mentality. All our tax dollars do is pay the inflated wages, expenses and pensions of the politicians and there is nothing left to carry on the business of government.


  2. The ABC Breakfast TV show on for about 3 hours do not seem to pick up on what this article is on about in regard to the IMF, scandals, it is supposed to give the general public information on what is going on in the world, in fact this program is highly repetitious in news, and the presenters who are well versed in chuckles and puns as if the presenters have to be of great mirth even though they may be presenting news of hundreds dying at sea, having to remember their salaries of say Virginia Trioli, almost a staggering quarter of a million dollars PA, have to put on their humorous best as their job requires a non critical stance other than what in politically correct as being directed as safe.
    The Australian viewers now lulled in to a false sense of security to face another drab day at work to pay for the most expensive real estate in the world, having myself come from London here, had no idea that within my life time Aboriginals were still being hunted down that I was blissfully unaware, if you have any sensitivity left by the time you have been processed by the system you will feel the history of the low outcasts in the formation of this continent and the moral unease of those here, added to this I was jerked out of my despondency as I listened to the dreary sermons of the ABC, as having the highest cost of living in the world, living in rural Australia, the consumption of alcohol and illicit drugs is rife, the consumption of drugs is always hiding the agenda of what is going on, you do not talk about the stuff of life, you have to talk weather, when in London, the conversation was to some extent philosophical in particular the war which was two fold, those who never spoke about it as being taboo and those who started to think what is it about? here having no war and its destructive outcome, this makes those who endured the blitz started on a road few Australians comprehend.


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