Sean Connery probed in Spanish tax fraud case: reports

15th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Oscar-winning film star Sean Connery and his wife Micheline have been placed under investigation in Spain over allegations of tax fraud, the first step to formal charges, local media reported Thursday.

Investigators suspect a property firm linked to the 79-year-old Scottish actor failed to pay 1.6 million euros (two million dollars) in taxes, the Spanish newspaper Sur reported on its website citing judicial sources.

The unpaid taxes reportedly stemmed from the sale of development rights to land on the outskirts of the Mediterranean resort of Malaga, the paper said.

AFP was not able to immediately confirm the report.

The James Bond star, who currently lives in the Bahamas with his wife, was named in May in a separate money-laundering investigation involving the sale of a luxury seaside villa just east of Marbella, which is near Malaga.

Connery sold the villa, named Malibu, in 1999 reportedly for around for nine million dollars.

The villa was subsequently knocked down, and a four-storey luxury apartment complex with 72 flats was built on the land where it once stood in 2004-2005, despite planning rules which said only five homes could be constructed on it.

In May police raided the Madrid and Marbella offices of a law firm which is believed to have handled the sale of the firm as part of their investigation in an operation codemaned "Goldfinger" after the 1964 James Bond film.

© 2010 AFP

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