Judge investigates Marbella mayor in connection with beach club Opium

by Lorraine Williamson

MARBELLA – Marbella’s mayor, Ángeles Muñoz, along with a counsellor and the owners of Opium, a local restaurant-turned-techno-nightclub, have been charged with administrative misconduct and environmental crimes. 

The nightclub, where a shooting took place last year during the birthday party of the nephew of the Spanish king, Felipe Juan Froilán de Marichalar en Borbón, was granted a permit by the mayor. The case has been taken up by the Court of Inquiry No. 3 of Marbella. 

No proper permits

According to the plaintiff’s complaint, the eight-seater restaurant has been converted into a large open-air nightclub with live music performances without proper permits. The club’s owners are charged with “indulgence” and “illegal” activities with the “approval” of the city, as stated in the lawsuit. 

Angeles Muñoz, Félix Romero and Adventure Beach SL, the company that owns Opium, have been named in the lawsuit, according to elDiario.es newspaper. Javier Bordas de Togores and Enrique Cueto Torres, the owners of Adventure Beach SL, were summoned to testify in court as defendants on April 12. Furthermore, the case was brought by a resident affected by the nightclub’s activities. 

Related post: Dark shadow of corruption haunts Marbella mayor 

The restaurant was granted a municipal license in 2014 to open as a “restaurant” on the N-340 national road in Marbella, according to the plaintiff’s complaint. The permit allows eight people, according to decree 5881/2017. However, according to the complainant, the business owners “converted the property into a pub/nightclub with outdoor hammocks, a DJ booth and a swimming pool… and without any supervision from the local authorities.” 

Authorities would encourage illegal activities 

On the night of the shooting, the club was packed. The big attraction was the performance of the South African DJ Black Coffee. Photos of the nightclub released in the aftermath of the incident revealed that the eight-person “restaurant” is a large open-air disco with a large stage. According to the plaintiff, “the local authorities not only authorise but also encourage the illegality with which the owners of the establishment are acting.” 

Cogesa Expats

Opium’s name has also been linked to that of Marbella’s mayor in connection with drug trafficking and money laundering allegations involving two members of her family. The logos of various companies associated with marijuana laundering were used to sponsor the car in which Christian, the son of Muñoz and Broberg, was racing. The car was also sponsored by Opium, the nightclub whose “illegalities” were allegedly supported by Muñoz’s administration. 

Lars Broberg, Muñoz’s husband, who died last week, and Joakim, his son, were both charged with participation in a criminal organisation and money laundering from drug trafficking in the case pending before the National Court. Lars Broberg died on March 4, at the age of 80, when the case was no longer against him due to his ill health. Joakim Broberg, who continues to face charges of the same crimes and large-scale drug trafficking, has yet to respond. 

The complaint against Opium and Ángeles Muñoz was filed in October 2021 but was not resolved until now. According to the resident’s complaint, Opium’s owners “disregarded their opening permit or closing hours and have stayed open into the early hours.” 

Shooting in Opium

On July 18 last year, five people had to be hospitalised. Among them was a person who was stabbed and who started shooting with a firearm he was carrying. Moreover, he hit four customers. 

The mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, cannot be investigated by the court of Marbella despite the admission of the complaint. Muñoz has been privileged for 24 years. This is thanks to her previous appointment as an autonomous parliamentarian, in the Congress of Deputies and because of her appointment to the Supreme Court, as a senator for the Partido Popular. 

However, if Judge Dívar’s proceedings should lead to evidence against Muñoz, the investigating judge must send a reasoned report to the Supreme Court and withdraw from a possible investigation against the senator. 

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