A report – rumour?- has surfaced suggesting that the reason behind the sudden arrest of the government’s legal counsel for Almeria, Demetrio Carmona, was because he had come across -and pinched- millions of Iraqui Dinars seized by the State in the first Iraq war, held in a storeroom in El Ejido and forgotten about.
Demetrio was arrested last week in a central government sweep, accused of a “mega scam”, along with at least six prominent local businessmen. The whole incident is under court secrecy and the media can’t report on it, but rumours abound about why this important government official, who has held this position for the last 26 years, was suddenly relieved of duties then arrested by the Guardia.
According to the rumour, in the first Iraq war, Spain had obeyed international sanctions and ordered Spanish banks to seize all Iraq government assets they were holding, and turn them over to the state. For some reason, millions of dinars in printed money and bonds held by Iraq by Banesto bank were stored in a storeroom in El Ejido. Since the currency of Iraq had collapsed, the stuff was worthless, and so put into secure storage and forgotton about.
The story goes that Demetrio, in his capacity as legal counsel for the government in the province, came across the records of the seizure and realised that, although at the time of seizure the money was worthless, since “democracy” returned to Iraq then the money was actually worth something again – Iraq, backed by the USA and its oil revenues, was once again trading its currency on the open market like any other currency.
He then organised a sort of Oceans Eleven of local businessmen, who had access to the stores, and emptied the government boxes, slowly selling off the bonds and printed money in exchange for several millions of euros.
The scam came to light when the US government, carrying out an audit, requested that this money be turned over to them in exchange for money advanced to Iraq. When central government auditors from Madrid turned up in El Ejido and discovered the empty boxes, the Spanish Secret Service opened an investigation, and realised what had happened. The case was turned over to the Courts and a top Judge ordered the immediate arrest of someone who normally couldn’t be touched with a bargepole.
It’s a fantastic rumour and I’d love it to be true… could it be??