Wednesday, December 2

Corrochano’s former secretary at BBVA says they worked with ‘Cenyt’

An image of a BBVA building.

An image of a BBVA building.
Fernando Bustamante

The one that was secretary of direction of Julio Corrochano when he was the head of security for the BBVA, Elena Martin Zurdo, has indicated this Wednesday in his statement as a witness before the judge of the National High Court that instructs the macrocause ‘Tandem’ that Cenite He worked regularly with the entity’s Security department.

According to sources present in the statement consulted by Europa Press, the secretary has also stated that Corrochano ordered to modify the text of the reports they received from Cenyt –Company owned by the retired commissioner and in preventive prison José Manuel Villarejo–. Those rewritten reports were later forwarded to his superiors at the bank.

During her statement, which was agreed by the judge at the request of the defense of the president of Ausbanc Luis Pineda – who is personified as injured in this piece – the secretary has recognized the authorship of several emails that have been shown to her, and specifically one dated September 2006 in which, under the issue of ‘advance authorization’, Corrochano requests 8,000 euros to “attend to service needs arising in the Special Security Area”.

Those needs are related to “the high level of existing collaboration” with the bodies and forces of State Security, and in parentheses specifies with the Command of Tres Cantos and with the airport – where the accused Carlos Salamanca was also a commissioner in Tandem. According to these same sources, the secretary would also have admitted to the judge that gifts were made from her department to police officers ranging from hams to office furniture.

Martín’s statement has taken place within the framework of separate piece number 9 of the ‘Villarejo case’, in which the work that the commissioner, in preventive detention since November 2017, would have carried out for the entity is investigated.

The jobs of ‘Cenyt’ for the bank

According to the 2019 Anti-Corruption report, BBVA –imputed as a legal entity– led by Francisco Gonzalez hired the business network of the retired commissioner Jose Manuel Villarejo for the development of intelligence services, “of a patrimonial nature and illicit nature”, in addition to personal monitoring and access to communications or bank documentation that, in his opinion, involved “multiple” violations of the fundamental rights of several people.

The Prosecutor’s Office affirms that the analysis of the documentation on paper and digital format seized in the records carried out in November 2017 and the documentation provided by BBVA would prove that the allegedly illegal contracting and payments to the Cenyt company affected various sensitive areas of the bank and various executives of the entity over a prolonged period.

Likewise, the Public Ministry highlighted in its letter that some of the investigated executives had received gifts from the Cenyt Group environment for facilitating such hiring.

One of the most relevant and well-known works would have been the so-called ‘Trap operation’, the deployment that Villarejo would have orchestrated to stop the landing of the construction company Sacyr on the Bank’s Board of Directors.

In the piece there are already several defendants, among them the former head of BBVA security, Julio Corrochano – also a former police commissioner – whom the judge released on bail of 300,000 euros.

Likewise, eight other people are being investigated for crimes of active bribery and disclosure of secrets in relation to the orders that the financial entity would have carried out under the presidency of Francisco González. This is the replacement for Corrochano, Inés Díaz Ochagavia; the CEO of BBVA until 2015 Ángel Cano; the group leader in the Security team of the Nazario Campo Campuzano bank; and the director of the Commercial Banking Network in the entity Ignacio Pérez Caballero.

Also under investigation are the former head of Risks for Spain and Portugal and later head of BBVA Real Estate Antonio Béjar González; the member until 2018 of the Management Committee of the financial institution Ricardo Gómez Barredo; and his former Finance Director, Javier Malagón Navas.

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