THE Balearic Minister for Tourism, Joana Barcelo, admitted yesterday that the regional government is “extremely worried” about the investigation into alleged corruption in the Balearic Tourism Institute, the Ministry for Tourism's promotions and marketing wing, during the previous Partido Popular legislature.

As the Bulletin reported yesterday, sources in the UK travel industry have said that the Balearics can not afford any more damage to its travel industry and yesterday Barcelo said that the government is concerned that the island's most important industry has been caught up in an alleged corruption scandal.

The investigation into the alleged misuse of public funds through Ibatur between 2003 and 2007 began some six months ago but the National Police fraud squad was ordered to swing into action and mount a series of raids on business administrational offices in Majorca and Madrid last Tuesday by the public prosecution service.

Since then, a total of 13 people have been arrested, including the various Directors of Ibatur during the period under investigation.
Some have since been released after being questioned by police and the anti-fraud prosecutors, others were continuing to be quizzed yesterday.