New Juan Carlos investigation widens to Jersey bank account
09 Nov 2020

Juan Carlos, Spain’s exiled king, has been linked to an investigation into the transfer of millions of euros from an offshore account, part of a third corruption inquiry into his finances.

Attempts to transfer funds from an active account registered in Jersey, a tax haven, were recently detected by Spain’s anti-money laundering authority, legal sources told the broadcaster La Sexta. Intelligence about the account, with a reported balance of nearly €10 million, was promptly passed on to Spanish prosecutors.

The new proceedings are being led by Dolores Delgado, the attorney-general, and Alejandro Luzón, the most senior anti-corruption prosecutor, and will look into whether a financial trust existed in Jersey, of which Juan Carlos was the beneficiary. He is said to have established a trust in the Channel Islands in the 1990s.

The news is another setback for the embattled Spanish royal household. Two other corruption investigations are under way.

The first, opened in June by Spain’s highest court, is assessing whether Juan Carlos received millions of dollars of illegal payments in connection with a €6.7 billion high-speed train contract in Saudi Arabia in 2011. The prosecutor has described the case as having “undeniable technical complexity”. The second, Spanish media reports claim, centres on whether the former king failed to declare money allegedly received from a Mexican millionaire to cover expenses for him, the former queen, Sofia, and other members of his family.

Allen Sanginés-Krause, a former Goldman Sachs executive who has British citizenship, is a friend of Juan Carlos and owns one of the largest fortunes in Mexico. He is a member of the campaign board of Historic Royal Palaces in the UK and has yet to comment on the inquiry.

Juan Carlos, 82, abdicated in 2014 after a series of scandals, which included an elephant-hunting trip to Botswana with his mistress Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 55, at the height of the financial crisis in 2012. The scandals have eroded his reputation for having helped Spain’s transition to democracy in the 1970s.

By Lucinda Elliott, The Times, 9 November 2020

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