MADRID – Since the name of the businessman Ángel Ramón Tejera Mon appeared in the summary of the corruption scandal ‘Mediator’, the suspicion of corruption also extends to the Spanish Guardia Civil.
For many years, Tejera Mon was in charge of remodelling most of the Civil Guard barracks across Spain. The case before a Tenerife judge investigates the alleged bribery network of businessmen in the Canary Islands and mainland Spain.
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The national representative of the PSOE, Juan Bernardo Fuentes Curbelo, aka Tito Berni, is seen as one of the brains behind the network. The division general of the Guardia Civil and the former head of the barracks on Las Palmas, Javier Espinosa Navas, are also under scrutiny.
They would use their contacts and favour them by lifting sanctions. This put them in a better position to obtain public tenders issued by the authorities in the Canary Islands.
General Espinosa in prison
General Espinosa is the only person under investigation. Consequently, he is in custody because of the evidence found in the case. Furthermore, he had more than €60,000 hidden in his house in packages of €5,000. Exactly the initial amount that the accused businessmen paid to meet the two influential figures.
Mon appeared in recordings
The mediator or executor of the plot, Canarian businessman Marcos Antonio Navarro Tacoronte, recorded all the conversations he had with the politician and the general, the businessmen and Taishet Fuentes, Tito Berni’s cousin and general manager of Canarian Livestock – a position in which he replaced his uncle – who would also be there.
In one of the recordings you can hear the meeting between the builder Ángel Ramón Tejera Mon, Antonio Navarro Tacoronte, Thait Fuentes, and the businessman Antonio Bautista El Curilla. The latter would have made payments to the plot. General Francisco Espinosa was also present.
Tejera Mon will appear in court on April 12 on charges of tax fraud by the Las Palmas Prosecutor’s Office. He is demanding three years in prison. And also a fine of almost €500,000 for concealing money he obtained from his business activities for the government.
On the way to the meeting, the friendly bond between General Espinosa and the businessman Mon becomes apparent. The first received a call from a certain ‘Store’. This was José María Store Serrano, colonel of the Guardia Civil and head of the Tenerife Command. He was then fired on Wednesday by the Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Perez, for “losing confidence”.
Unofficial Home Office sources pointed out that he was fired on suspicion of unlawful interference in the award of works to businessman Mon. Another name of a commander of the Guardia Civil also appears in the Canarian summary. According to the investigators, it would be Vicente Reig Basset, Colonel in charge of the Las Palmas Commando.
The information that has come out has raised concerns at the headquarters of the Guardia Civil in Madrid. The detained general’s action “shames” the uniformed commanders. The headache for the interior minister and for the director of the Civil Guard, María Gámez, started on Valentine’s Day.
Then, it was learned a Madrid court was investigating maintenance work carried out in recent years at Civil Guard barracks. There are suspicions about 200 works in 15 command posts, both with regard to the degree of completion – in some cases not even started – and possible irregularities in their execution.
Tejera Mon common denominator in two cases
The common denominator between the Mediador case and the case called the ‘Barracks’, Ramón Tejera Mon, the construction friend of Espinosa Navas and other Civil Guard commanders, as he himself acknowledged in court. Their companies were the winners of the contracts worth about €3.3 million that are being examined in Madrid.
Most of the works (47) would have been ordered by the Tenerife Command for an amount of €927,499.74. The second command with the most contracts with this businessman is that of Huelva, with 61 projects for an amount of €461,079.45; followed by Algeciras, with 29 works for €399,189.48. Mon carried out “all the works” of the headquarters in Las Palmas between 2008 and 2012 while the general was chief there.
This story would coincide with the internal investigation of the Guardia Civil that you It turns out that the works in each command are mostly performed by local companies. The three of Mon who got a contract are in the Canary Islands. The investigation began in Ávila after the detectives discovered alleged irregularities in some works in various barracks.
Minister Marlaska denies the relationship between the cases
This week, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska made a public statement from Brussels. In this he separated the dismissal of Tienda and the intervention of the Tenerife Commando from the Mediador case and the irregularities in the award of works for the remodelling of the Guardia Civil facilities throughout Spain by Ángel Ramón Tejera Mon.
Biggest corruption problem since the 1990s
The association of the Guardia Civil (AUGC) has assured that this is the biggest corruption problem within the police service since the 1990s. In a statement, the AUGC expresses concern at the accumulation of cases allegedly involving senior Guardia Civil officers. Furthermore, it concerns more than a dozen command posts where irregularities occurred during work.