Wednesday, December 8

Corinna Larsen injected nine million to one of her companies in the British Virgin Islands | The ‘Pandora Papers’


Corinna Larsen in 2005.
Corinna Larsen in 2005.Cordon Press

In March 2018, eight months before appearing as a defendant in Geneva before the Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa for an alleged crime of aggravated money laundering, Corinna Larsen, an examiner of Juan Carlos I, injected 10.9 million dollars (9,381,367 euros) to an FVC owned by him in the tax haven of the British Virgin Islands.

The documents that reflect the existence of this society and its movements are part of the Pandora Papers, an investigative work in collaboration with various international media, including EL PAÍS and La Sexta, coordinated by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ). More than 600 journalists from 117 countries have analyzed the 11.9 million files of 14 law firms specialized in creating companies for two years. off shore in tax havens.

The British Virgin Islands, where Larsen hid this partnership, are a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean Sea, about 60 miles east of Puerto Rico. The archipelago is made up of about 40 islands; in the main one, Tortola, is located the capital, Road Town, of about 30,000 inhabitants. The city is considered one of the centers off shore The most active companies on the planet and other tax havens have been inspired by its laws to tailor them.

Documentation of Corinna Larsen's company in the British Virgin Islands during its incorporation in 2011
Documentation of Corinna Larsen’s company in the British Virgin Islands during its incorporation in 2011

Corinna’s instrumental company, Larsen Riverhouse Partners, was employed, according to Corinna, to purchase a luxurious apartment at the end of 2011 in Eaton Square, the most exclusive and elite area of ​​the British capital. “I bought it for five million pounds (5,930,516 euros) but it needed major renovation work. These jobs cost approximately four million (4,744,412 euros) ”, the German consulting firm told the Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa in his interrogation on December 19, 2018.

According to Larsen’s testimony before Bertossa, the funds used for the purchase of this mansion came from Gulf Development (GDI), another of his instrumental companies based in the Cayman Islands, another glassy tax haven, as reflected by the Pandora Papers. “It is true that Juan Carlos I participated in the financing for the acquisition of this house for over 1.5 million pounds (1,779,072 euros). It was a donation on my behalf. To acquire this house, the authorization of Juan Carlos I was not necessary ”, he replied.

The truth is that the then Spanish head of state transferred 1,596,000 pounds (1,892,932 euros) from his Lucum foundation account at the Geneva bank Mirabaud & Cie to the Riverhouse Partners account between October 27, 2011 and January 24 or 25, 2012. These payments are reflected in the main movements of the Swiss account of Juan Carlos I revealed by this newspaper on March 22, 2020. In those years, the King Emeritus and Larsen were romantically linked.

Corinna Larsen Society Registration in the British Virgin Islands
Corinna Larsen Society Registration in the British Virgin Islands

Bertossa has investigated whether this house in Eaton Square in London actually belonged to the emeritus king because, in addition to these millionaire “donations” to his sentimental partner, the latter wrote an email to Arturo Fasana, the manager of the Juan Carlos I’s account, in which he explained that the emeritus king had authorized him to make a millionaire offer for the purchase of a mansion in London.

Larsen explained in an email, on August 22, 2011, to the man who managed the hidden fortune of Juan Carlos I in the shadows: “We have found a nice apartment [Larsen y la agencia inmobiliaria Knight Frank]… 50 meters from Eaton Square, good size, although smaller than Villars [los dos apartamentos en la estación suiza para los que Juan Carlos I también le dio millonarios “préstamos”]… 252 square meters, private entrance, security, garden for residents, playground for children, good for Alexander [el hijo de Larsen]. To our friend [el rey] he really likes this option because the location, the entrance, and in general, it is completely protected from the sight of any person ”. And he continued: “He has given me authorization to make an offer … He does not want to miss this opportunity because it is rare to find an apartment with a level of discretion of a large house,” added the email with the subject “Property.” The price was 5,350,000 pounds (6,363,651 euros) plus 5% tax.

During the Swiss prosecutor’s questioning of Larsen, Bertossa showed her this message and she responded thus: “This email refers only to another property, a property on Upper Belgrave Street (number 8), that I initially wanted to buy. The sellers eventually gave up on selling it. I have always owned the Eaton Square apartment. I live there with my son when I am in London, the rest of the time I live in Monaco, my son studies in London ”.

Riverhouse Partners, which was used to purchase the Eaton Square house, where the former examiner of the King Emeritus currently resides, was registered in the British Virgin Islands registry on May 26, 2011, under the direction of the Geneva lawyer Maurice Turrettini and with the German consulting firm as the owner of its 50,000 shares, valued at $ 50,000. The purpose of the company, as the documentation indicates, was to “hold a bank account” (“to have a bank account”, in English). The procedures for the registration and validation of the company were carried out by the Trident Trust Company, domiciled at 146 Road Town, in Tortola.

From its creation until March 21, 2018 Riverhouse Partners did not register any change in its capital. But on that date, Larsen signed a debt-to-equity document and the opaque British Virgin Islands company went from 50,000 shares to $ 10,896,893 to $ 1 apiece. The ex-wife of the king emeritus became a lender to his own society and injected him with almost 11 million dollars (9,467,483 euros).

The Riverhouse Partners company had an account in the private bank Mirabaud & Cie, the same entity in which Juan Carlos I received, on August 8, 2008, a transfer of 100 million dollars (65 million euros at the then exchange rate). ) from the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia. Larsen explained to the prosecutor Bertossa that she did not remember if it was she or Turrettini, whom she defines as her “lawyer”, who opened the account at Mirabaud & Cie.

Four years later, at the request of the bank, the then head of the Spanish state canceled the account of his Panamanian foundation Lucum and transferred 64.8 million to another account of the German consultancy in the tax haven of Nassau (Bahamas).

Corinna Larsen has not responded to the questions sent by this newspaper.


elpais.com

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