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KICKBACKS-FOR-CONTRACTS CASE

Swiss authorities find bank accounts held by two former Sacyr heads

Data on construction company bosses was turned over to High Court as part of Gürtel inquiry

Fernando J. Pérez

Swiss authorities have turned over information to Spain’s High Court about secret bank accounts alleged to be held by two former presidents of the Spanish construction giant, Sacyr Vallehermoso, judicial sources said Thursday.

The unexpected tip came as part of the ongoing Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts investigation currently being carried by High Court Judge Pablo Ruz, who requested that judicial authorities in Switzerland look into accounts held by suspects in the inquiry.

Luis del Rivero and José Manuel Loureda Mantiñan are the former Sacyr heads whose accounts were discovered by Swiss authorities.

The information is contained in some 4,000 documents that were turned over on December 30 to Judge Ruz and now make up part of the Gürtel case file. Ruz is investigating a scheme in which a group of businessmen received fat contracts from local and regional Popular Party (PP) governments in exchange for kickbacks.

Included in the papers handed over by Swiss authorities is information on accounts held at Lombard Odier Bank by jailed former PP treasurer Luis Bárcenas and his wife Rosalía Iglesias – both of whom are under Ruz’s investigation – and two accounts owned by former PP Senator Luis Fraga.

Authorities in Switzerland also found various accounts held by former Majadahona Mayor Guillermo Ortega as well as others who have connections to Bárcenas.

The accounts held by Del Rivero and Loureda Mantiñan were discovered when Swiss officials searched for accounts held by Amando Mayo, who is being investigated in the Gürtel inquiry. They reportedly found payment transfers made to both former Sacyr presidents.

Sacyr is one of Spain’s largest construction firms and is currently involved in a dispute with the Panamanian government on cost overruns related to a project to expand the Panama Canal.

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