Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Feb 23 (EFE) Before the investigating judge of the case, the detainee who uncovered everything: “Without him nothing is done.”
In one of the reports that work in the judicial proceedings, the Internal Affairs Service of the Civil Guard details that the organization has two heads: the political one, at the head of which it places Fuentes Curbelo, and the business one, in which it believes key role of retired general Francisco Espinosa Navas, the only one of those accused in provisional prison for the facts investigated by the Investigating Court number 4 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
In the statements made by the mediator who gives his name to the case, Marcos Antonio Navarro Tacoronte points out that Fuentes Curbelo asked him to “look for more companies” for the alleged criminal network.
This intermediary places his nephew Taishet Fuentes behind the former deputy, who succeeded his uncle as General Director of Livestock of the Government of the Canary Islands who has also been arrested and charged.
The crimes investigated by the head of the Investigating Court number 4 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, María de los Ángeles Lorenzo-Cáceres, are bribery, influence peddling, money laundering, document forgery and belonging to a criminal organization.
According to the Civil Guard report, General Espinosa Navas began collaborating with the criminal group because the efforts they were carrying out in “the cattle part began to become entrenched”, so they went to him so that “his contacts could solve the files pending”, since it was known that “he used his influence to obtain contracts for businessmen in exchange for money or gifts”.
Until then, the organization was supposedly in charge of extorting ranchers in the Canary Islands, “manipulating files” on their farms and exerting its influence on businessmen in this sector to obtain public contracts, among other purposes; and, if they did not “enter the game, they were left without help”, details another of the reports that work in the case, to which EFE has had access.
General Espinosa promised one of those involved contracts with important businessmen from Gran Canaria, whom he met during his time at the head of the Civil Guard Command in Las Palmas, as well as for the countries of the Horn of Africa, since it was the director of the Sahel Project, in a meeting held at the La Quinta restaurant in Madrid.
The Internal Affairs Service of the Civil Guard reports that the general had a lover in the Canary Islands who tried to get her hired as a commercial by two of the businessmen arrested in the case with a salary of 3,000 euros per month, because he thought that this was the case. In exchange, he could get favors from an uncle of his, a prominent businessman from Gran Canaria, who is not charged in the facts.
The intermediary declared that the general was thinking about his “financial future because he was going to retire and had to find a future for himself and his lover.” In his statements before the judge, Navarro Tacoronte acknowledged that he gave Espinosa an envelope every time they saw each other, with money previously contributed by the businessmen: from 1,500 to 3,000 euros per envelope.
However, he also detailed the instructor who once gave the accused general an envelope with between “19,000 and 20,000 euros”, from the “Curita”, nickname with which the members of the plot referred to the businessman Antonio Bauatista, another of those arrested and involved in the case.
But more than in cash, always according to his version, the general preferred to receive his commissions through Prepaid Mastercard Post Office cards: “You give me one of those cards, remember to bring me one,” the general told the mediator in one of the recorded conversations that are reproduced in the procedure.
In his statements before the instructor, Navarro Tacoronte also indicated that, in order to put pressure on the Canarian farmers, the general managed to send the Nature Protection Service of the Civil Guard (Seprona) to inspect various farms on the islands, for which reason that the blackmailed were forced to pay the required commissions.
In the report compiled by Internal Affairs of the Civil Guard, it is indicated that, apart from the efforts that General Espinosa carried out with the peninsular and Canarian businessmen within this plot, they considered it relevant to investigate the public contracts awarded by the International Foundation and for Ibero-America of Administration and Public Policies (FIIPP), during the stage in which he was director of the European GAR-SI Sahel project for training agents from the countries in that area.
The company Asesoramiento y Servicio de Drones, linked to the Valencian businessman José Santiago Suárez Esteve, who was nicknamed “el Drones” and who has also been arrested for his alleged involvement in the case, received several contracts from the FIIPP.
In another of the conversations collected in the judicial proceedings, Suárez Esteve acknowledges that everything he did in “Africa is with Papá”, the nickname by which the general was known, the researchers recall.
In another report, the agents who investigated the relationships of the different defendants concluded that the Mediator case is “just the tip of the iceberg” of an alleged corruption network that operates in the Canary Islands and with ramifications on the peninsula. EFE