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Spain Uncovers Alleged €110 Million Wind Farm Corruption

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EL PAÍS

Private renewable energy firms may have paid more than €110 million in commissions to government officials and local businessmen in Castilla y León to help them obtain licenses and push through paperwork to install wind farms across the region between 2004 and 2007, tax inspectors said.

In a December 30 report obtained by EL PAÍS, seven transactions detail how energy firms paid local businessmen and people connected to the regional Popular Party (PP) government either directly or through stocks in companies created to build and operate wind farms.

The Spanish AEAT tax agency has turned over the 94-page report to anti-corruption prosecutors to investigate if money laundering or other crimes may have been committed.

Those suspected of taking part in the commission deals are businessmen and public officials in Castilla y León

Those suspected of taking part in the commission deals are public officials in Castilla y León; go-betweens who negotiated on behalf of the energy firms and were able to obtain administrative approvals; and companies belonging to local businessmen who, “without any valid economic motives, received the transfer of funds and stock for an amount superior to €110 million,” inspectors said

In some cases, the firms transferred stock in the businesses set up in such a way so as to multiply the initial capital invested by hundreds, even thousands, of times.

Among those who may have benefited from this alleged scheme were officials from Castilla y León’s economy department, which authorized the wind farms.

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