By Humphrey Carter
PHOTO: Michels
PHASE two of Operation Voramar, the investigation into alleged real estate corruption in Andratx, was mounted yesterday with the arrest of a leading local developer and the search of a number of offices in Palma and Andratx.

The Guardia Civil serious fraud squad which has been handling the investigation since it was launched last November with the arrests of the former Mayor, Eugenio Hidalgo, the Andratx planning inspector Jaume Gibert and the Balearic director for planning, Jaume Massott, swooped on various addresses yesterday morning.

Paperwork, computer hard drives, bills and other documents were seized from some locations for further examination as part of this new line of investigation which, it appears, is going to target the developers and companies suspected of being involved in the alleged corruption scandal. According to sources close to the cases, phase two has “only just begun”.

Further raids on offices are going to be carried out over the new few days and more arrests are expected to be made as the Guardia Civil serious fraud squad starts “mopping up.” Apparently, evidence seized during the first phase of the operation is what the Guardia Civil are basing their next moves on and has proved the key to unlocking the apparent web of corruption.

Of the 40 boxes of documents seized during phase one of the operation, only six remain to be opened and, according to investigators, they will be examined this week.

It is no coincidence that momentum in the investigation has been stepped up this week.
The judge presiding over the investigation last week agreed to the state prosecutor's plea that Hidalgo and Gibert be returned to jail for the remainder of the investigation, 45 days, to reduce the risk of the investigation being hampered and evidence being either tampered with or destroyed.

The Guardia Civil are confident they can wrap up investigation by the middle of next month.

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