Basque businesswomen arrested for alleged ETA funding
Two sisters have been arrested after evidence shows that they have been giving the terrorist group EUR 6,000 per year form their shellfish farm.12 June 2008
SAN SEBASTIAN - Two Basque businesswomen have been arrested by police accused of donating money to Basque terrorist group ETA, the Interior Ministry said Monday.
Sisters Blanca and Maribel Bruño Azpiroz were taken into custody yesterday morning based on evidence obtained during a raid on an ETA hideout in the French city of Bordeaux in May, in which ETA's alleged leader, Javier López Peña, alias Thierry, was arrested.
According to investigators, a document in López Peña's apartment listed the Bruño Azpiroz sisters as having given ETA EUR 6,000 per year from the finances of their family-owned shellfish firm Andrés Bruño e hijos SA.
The sisters are known to be supporters of the Basque separatist left, and one of them has been connected with ETA's outlawed political wing Batasuna.
Unlike some Basque businesses, which are threatened by ETA into paying so-called "revolutionary tax," the Bruño Azpiroz sisters handed over the money voluntarily, Interior Minister Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba said Wednesday.
He noted that documents seized from López Peña's apartment are providing police with new insights into the internal operations and financing capacity of the group.
[El Pais / Genoveva Gastaminza / Expatica]