Officials from the Customs Surveillance Service of the Tax Agency have dismantled a plot that allegedly laundered more than ten million euros between Mallorca and Holland originating from public works in Equatorial Guinea, thanks to a complex international corporate network. The operation has been carried out jointly with the Portuguese Judiciary Police and Europol and the possible involvement of Gabriel Obiang, one of the sons of the former president of the African country, is being investigated.

Two people have been arrested in the operation, one of them the mastermind of the plot, a Dutch citizen residing in Mallorca. Six other citizens have been indicted and accused of the crimes of money laundering and tax fraud linked to corrupt activities in international business.

The investigation shows multiple evidence of the diversion of 10% of the value of public works executed in Equatorial Guinea, its subsequent laundering through a corporate network and concealment operations, its final destination in the purchase of assets controlled directly or indirectly by the organizer of the plot and others investigated through a complex international corporate structure to channel illegal commissions, controlled through trusts and companies based in countries such as Cape Verde, Liechtenstein, Cyprus, Belize and Holland, among others.

According to the documentation analyzed, a relevant percentage of the diversion of funds would have been hidden in Spain through investments in a real estate developer in Palma. Its administrators would have agreed with the organizer of the plot to transfer control of the main properties, located in an urbanization located on the outskirts of Palma, for an investment of more than 3.5 million euros. Another important part would have been invested in Holland, through shell companies to hide investments in a well-known brand of cosmetic products, worth more than seven million euros, among other investments in Dutch businesses.

The operation, called ‘Run out’, begins at the beginning of 2021, with connections to a criminal investigation that had simultaneously begun in Portugal in relation to a Portuguese construction company and its public works activity in Equatorial Guinea. The Portuguese police had carried out 21 home searches in which abundant documentation was seized as a result of bribes for an amount close to ten million euros.

Following certain information indicating that the plot also operated in Spain, investigators from the Customs Surveillance Service in Spain initiated, in turn, a financial investigation with the impetus of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office of the Balearic Islands and within a case currently being prosecuted in the Court of Instruction number 3 of Palma.

After a year of investigations, the court agreed in March 2022 to register the Dutch citizen’s home. More than 13,000 paper documents of interest to the investigation were collected and 43 electronic devices were seized, with almost four terabytes of information.

In addition, nine bank accounts with balances of more than 200,000 euros were seized, three vehicles valued at more than 100,000 euros, 15 high-end watches worth 150,000 euros and the ownership of lifetime use rights in a club were also seized. golf valued at more than 100,000 euros. Likewise, orders were executed to seize and prohibit the sale of eleven properties located in Mallorca and owned by the companies investigated for money laundering, valued at more than five million euros.