Investigations in Switzerland into the alleged hidden fortune of Juan Carlos I uncovered an Andorra bank account. The account was operational until 2016.
The Spanish king emeritus used a Panamanian trading company led by stooges, Stream SA, to hide a deposit at Andbank in Andorra.
The deposit account was open for more than ten years at Andbank. It had the number AD79 0001 0000 4029 2980 0100, confirms the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial. The King reportedly controlled the company through a shell company headed by Stream SA. The company was officially dissolved on 4 May.
Trading company in Liechtenstein
The finding calls into question his two previous tax regularisations and brings him closer to the dock. It is the first time Andorra has surfaced in the investigation by Geneva cantonal prosecutor Yves Bertossa into the opaque patrimony of Juan Carlos I. Until now, most of his investigations, which began in September 2018, focused on money movements within Switzerland. That was until a transfer from the Zagatka Foundation led to the principality of Andorra. Zagatka is the Liechtenstein trading company the former king used to collect allegedly irregular commissions and pay for private flights,
The most important transaction took place on 19 May 2008. On that day, Zagatka’s deposit number 0251-798208-92 with Credit Suisse recorded a withdrawal of over €150,000. The money was theoretically sent to Stream SA, a Panamanian company founded in 2004 by the Central American law firm Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee, which specialises in setting up ‘offshore’ networks.
From the start, the firm was run exclusively by regular stooges of that firm, all of whom reported their residence was the address of the firm. Documents now show Zagatka’s money did not actually go to Panama, but to an Andorra bank account.
In the instructions for the payment, which El Confidencial newspaper had access to, Fasana specified the money was to be deposited in an account held by the Panamanian company in Andorra. Investigators believe it is part of the complex network the king is said to have used for years to amass a huge amount of money outside the Spanish borders. Stream SA was merely a cover to hide the relationship with the account in Andorra and put up a firewall. It is not known why the sum of €150,000 was transferred. However, the account was used for decades to move large sums of money. These were withdrawn in cash, transported to Spain by road and spent on national soil without leaving a trace.
Duty to report
Sources report the closure of Juan Carlos I’s account in 2016 coincided with the so-called Common Reporting Standard (CRS). This is an international agreement promoted by the OECD and signed by Andorra.
From then on, the authorities of the principality were obliged to share with third countries the banking data of all foreigners with active products within the territory. The treaty only affected customers who remained active in the principality from 1 January 2017. This led to thousands of non-Andorran nationals closing their accounts before that date.
In doing so, they avoided having their financial data sent to the tax authorities of their respective countries of origin. Alemán, Cordero, Galindo & Lee also initiated the dissolution of Stream SA in 2016. The first step was taken on 27 December of that year, just four days before the CRS came into force in Andorra.
Finally, the company was annulled on 4 May 2021 for its continued non-payment of official fees for commercial maintenance, one of the most common practices in Panama to decommission ‘offshore’ vehicles. The Supreme Court Prosecutor’s Office is currently conducting three different investigations into the hidden capital of the former king.
It is believed Juan Carlos I proposed two tax regularisations to evade possible criminal liability. For those he voluntarily paid more than five million euros. However, this amount only relates to the money he received from the Mexican businessman Allen Sanginés-Krause and the private flights he paid for with Zagatka money. There is no evidence the monarch communicated information about Andorra to the tax authorities. This is despite the fact the 2015 and 2016 financial years have not yet been closed.
Consequence of Andorra bank account
The surfacing of the Andbank account would invalidate the king emeritus’s regularisations. Furthermore, it provides the Public Prosecutor’s Office with reason to file against him for crimes against the treasury. At the moment, the agency which depends on María Jesús Montero is already reviewing the statements. Moreover, the use of a trading scheme run by fictitious managers to cover up alleged illegal commissions could also involve the offences of bribery and money laundering.