Former chief of the International Monetary Fund, Rodrigo Rato, is under investigation for money laundering, government sources have told Spanish daily El Pais.
According to the newspaper, the Spaniard – a former finance minister – applied for a 2012 tax amnesty. This was legal, however, online publication Vozpopuli claims he ‘cleaned’ the ‘dirty’ money outside of Spain, before declaring it: notably in the tax havens of Gibraltar and the Virgin Islands.
The Tax Agency has provided the Executive Service for Prevention and Capital Laundering (Sepblac) with the names of 705 anonymous taxpayers. Sepblac has launched an investigation into those on the list, who are suspected of using the immunity deal to launder money.
Vozpopuli says Rato – a former government official in Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s Popular Party – was on this list.
Spain’s current finance minister, Luis de Guindos, refused to elaborate on the alleged investigation.
“I have a duty to keep things under wraps, a duty of confidentiality,” he said. “The only thing I can tell you is that all state institutions will comply with any legal procedures,” he said.
Rato has neither denied nor confirmed the accusation of money laundering.
However, he has stated that he has not been notified whether or not he’s under investigation.
“I have received no document from any agency stating that I am being investigated by Sepblac,” he told El Pais.
If Rato is proven to have used the amnesty to launder money, questions will be raised over whether or not the government attempted to cover up the crime.
A judge is also holding him accountable for credit card abuse that took place at Caja Madrid and Bankia banks, where he was chairman.
In addition, he is under investigation for the way Bankia was floated on the Spanish stock market. Investigators believe this may have involved fraud and document forgery.
Get a different perspective
Every story can be told in many ways: see the perspectives from Euronews journalists in our other language teams.