Spain police recover billions in corruption probes
Race horses, luxury cars, bulls, furniture and over 600 works of art worth over EUR 3 billion were among those seized by police.Madrid – Spanish police have seized goods worth over EUR 3 billion, including boats, helicopters and even bulls, over the past five years as part of 232 corruption probes, the interior ministry said Wednesday.
Race horses, luxury cars, furniture and over 600 works of art were among the items that have been apprehended as part of the investigations in which 943 people were detained for questioning, it said in a statement to mark the United Nation's international anti-corruption day.
Spain has been rocked in recent months by a series of corruption scandals linked to the decade-long property boom which came to an end in 2008 as a real estate bubble came to an end.
The conservative opposition Popular Party has been in the forefront of the scandals, with its members in the Valencia and Madrid regions being investigated for allegedly taking bribes for public contracts.
But in early November, a new case emerged in the northeastern region of Catalonia involving a Socialist legislator and former nationalists, showing that no party has a monopoly on virtue.
The centre-right daily El Mundo estimated that EUR 4.1 billion has been embezzled in Spain in the last decade, "the equivalent of 50 modern hospitals."
It based the figure on cases that are being investigated or are already closed.
A recent opinion poll released by the CIS institute said "politicians and political parties" has climbed two places to be the fourth most important concern for voters, ahead of Basque separatist violence but behind economic issues and immigration.
AFP / Expatica