Son of Catalan political godfather moved €32.4 million of undeclared funds

Tax agency uncovers documents showing Jordi Pujol made 118 transfers to fiscal paradises

An archive image from 1997 of Jordi Pujol Ferrusola.
An archive image from 1997 of Jordi Pujol Ferrusola. TONI GARRIGA (EFE)

The ongoing investigation into the financial activities of Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest son of long-serving former regional premier of Catalonia Jordi Pujol, has revealed movements of more than 30 million euros between three bank accounts to 13 different territories.

Among the locations to which Pujol made these transfers are Switzerland, Liechtenstein, the Cayman Islands, Andorra and Luxembourg. The funds, 32.4 million euros in total, were transferred between March 30, 2004 and November 28, 2011 from accounts at Banco Mediolanum, Crédit Suisse and BBVA.

According to information handed over to High Court Judge Pablo Ruz by the tax agency, there is no evidence that Pujol Ferrusola took advantage of an amnesty on undeclared funds put in place by the Popular Party government of Mariano Rajoy. The investigation was launched after Pujol’s former girlfriend, María Victoria Álvarez, claimed that he had traveled to Andorra on several occasions with suitcases full of cash.

In response to the prosecutor’s request, the judge has given the three banks “no more than” 15 days to hand over all the details of Pujol’s accounts and the five companies where he is registered as holding a post. Among the information requested are the transfer records, the documents signed to open the accounts and “any other financial product,” either canceled or still in use, relating to the account holder or any of the five firms he is linked with.

Judicial sources said that in view of what has been uncovered so far it cannot be ruled out that the source of the funds is illegal, pending further investigation.

Jordi Pujol Sr. is also the subject of claims of money laundering connected to the so-called Palau corruption case in Barcelona. A draft report by the National Police’s anti-money laundering unit found its way into the media last year, in which it was claimed Pujol had squirreled away huge sums in Swiss banks from kickbacks on the awarding of public works contracts for the auditorium.

Pujol Ferrusola’s politician brother, Oriol – the right-hand man of current Catalonia premier Artur Mas – is due to testify in court on April 16 after being indicted on suspicion of his involvement in a scheme to rig the awarding of public contracts within the ITV vehicle-licensing system.

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