Much excitement today as the news broke of the arrests of the mayor of Zurgena, Candido Trabalon, the Councilman in charge of Urbanisations, Manuel Tijeras, the town architect, an associate of the town architect, the owner of “New Horizon Villas” (according to “El Pais”) and Tomas Zurano, president of the “Constructores Andaluces de Obra Publica” in a massive police operation. Such was the police operation that an elderly lady ran into a bar shouting “¡Los Geos! ¡Los Geos han tomado el pueblo!” and had to be reassured that a coup d´etat was not underway.
The charges, as our american cousins would say, were for “grand, grand larceny”, bribery and corruption. Rumour has it that Manuel Tijeras allegedly paid €600,000 in his bank account two days before signing off on a large land deal, then boasted about it in a bar.
(Pic courtesy of Teleprensa.net)
The mayor (from the Partido Andalucista, the same nationalist party that governs Vera) had declared last year in front of a judge, and later said that his “soul is pure”. This didn’t stop the judge from ordering his arrest! The investigation into the over 1000 illegal homes continues.
It seems clear that after the national elections the bigwigs in Seville have decided to continue with the current investigations into massive property fraud in the region. What we know have to wait and see is whether or not their poor showing in the local elections (Almeria went heavily P.P., against the majority trend) has convinced the politicians to stop hounding the victims of the frauds (remember the condemned houses in Vera? 5 more still to come down) and go after the swines who got rich off the scams.
Of course, it seems that the Guardia may be looking into this at a national level – they also arrested the (P.P.) mayor of Torre Pacheco (Murcia), under roughly the same sort of charges.