Sunday, October 17

The Prosecutor’s Office asks two police officers for 3 years in prison for stealing bottles of alcohol in Zaragoza

Alcohol bottles that were intervened in an operation, were in custody and were the object of theft.

Alcohol bottles that were intervened in an operation, were in custody and were the object of theft.

An anonymous received on September 9, 2019 at the Higher Police Headquarters of Aragon warning of the alleged disappearance of hundreds of bottles of leading brands and Inditex clothing from two police operations shook the institution as if it were an earthquake. In the spotlight were several police commanders who were held responsible for the Stole. Up to five agents were charged by the judge, although only two will get to sit on the bench before a popular jury. He is the former chief inspector of the Police Mobile Brigade, which in turn was in charge of the Canine Guides and the Underground Unit, and the sub-inspector of the Theft Subgroup. Each faces 3 years in prison and disqualification for a period of 7 years.. At present they are separated from the exercise and suspended from salary.

It is the sentence that requests the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of Zaragoza for JEGB and JRAP to those who it considers to be the perpetrators of a crime of embezzlement or misappropriation of public assets committed by a public authority or official. The defense of one of them denies the major and questions that it has not been verified whether before they carried out superior orders to transfer the caches to other police units, objects were already missing. In fact, locks had been put in place to prevent them from disappearing any further. 377 bottles and 319 Inditex items that they were guarding are missing.

Although the anonymous complaint sent to the Headquarters is dated September, the facts that will be tried in the Zaragoza Provincial Court date back to January 21, 2019. On that day the Deputy Inspector for Theft sent a letter to a court requesting that the 2,000 bottles seized in a shop on the road to Torres in the Aragonese capital were transferred to the court or ordered their destruction “given the problems posed by their conservation and storage.” They were in a dungeon converted into a warehouse. In May he placed some padlocks whose keys, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, were always in his possession. September 4 arrives and the Superior Chief of Police in Aragon, Juan Carlos Hernández (cited as a witness), held a meeting with several senior officers, among whom was the other accused, the chief inspector of the Mobile Police Brigade, telling them that “the effects of the cells should be transferred to the offices of General Mayandía ». There was no direct order, according to the public prosecutor. Despite this, he points out that, supposedly, JEGB decided to make the move, requesting an official van and urging a subordinate to help him. He also called two people outside the Police that he knew from Jarque de Moncayo, where the chief inspector had a second residence.

The morning of Saturday September 7th arrives and the Deputy Inspector of Theft went to the Higher Police Headquarters of Aragon. Then, according to the accusation letter to which EL PERIÓDICO had access, he went to the jails «in order to take certain brands of bottles that he carefully selected from boxes that were already open previously and he also broke the seals in search of bottles whose brands interested him in order to dispose of them for his benefit, knowing that they were judicial effects at the disposal of the respective courts. He took 53 bottles, supposedly.

But the Main move took place on a Sunday afternoon. It was at that moment, as the public prosecutor points out from an internal investigation that analyzed the security cameras, when EGB went to the Aragon Police Superior Headquarters and took the keys that opened the padlocks and that were kept by the other defendant. in an envelope. The transfer to General Mayandía lasted more than three hours in which, allegedly, he broke police seals, selected cosmetic products that they even tried, took a photo of them and did the same with bottles that he was taking. The following day, the chief inspector made an informative note to the chief commissioner of the Citizen Security Brigade, listing the effects transferred. In total 1,494 bottles recorded.

The internal investigation confirmed that 319 effects of the Inditex operation are missing (142 cosmetics, 103 articles of clothing, 68 of perfumery and another 6 units not determined) and 377 bottles of alcohol valued at 4,000 euros, of which 53 would have remained one of the controls and the rest the other. The Prosecutor’s Office determines that both acted individually, violating the chain of custody.

An agent defends himself by criticizing the lack of zeal in the custody of caches

The former chief inspector of the Mobile Brigade of the Higher Police Headquarters of Aragon is considered innocent. His defense lawyer, Enrique Esteban Pendás, has sent a letter of almost 40 pages in which he refutes each of the accusations from the Zaragoza Provincial Prosecutor’s Office. It points out, first of all, that its action was limited to fulfilling the order carried out by the superior chief of the Police in Aragon and adds that “there is no evidence or indications” that those bottles, garments and cosmetics that have disappeared are in its possession. .

The lawyer emphasizes that the anonymous one is sent when it could not have been verified that objects had disappeared during the transfer, “evidencing that whoever or those who made and distributed the anonymous one already knew that before the transfer objects were missing.” In fact, it points out that it “directs the investigation only against the person who carried out the transfer so that he would not find out what had happened to the objects deposited in the cells during the time they were under the responsibility of the Group of Robberies, which led the other accused to put padlocks ». But he goes further and describes as “implausible” that this police command introduced other types of different marks during the transfer to keep the original ones, as it is an attack against logic and the course of events “. He adds that there were no records of the seal.

Regarding the two men who helped this policeman to make the move, he asserts that these people had previously taken charge of cleaning all the existing basements in the General Mayandía barracks as they had been full of objects and belongings for 15 years.

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