NINE of the eleven people arrested in connection with the investigation launched by the authorities in Palma on Thursday into alleged fraud and money laundering will appear before preliminary hearings over the weekend.

Yesterday, police, tax inspectors and the serious fraud squad continued with “Operation Lightning” and fire fighters were called on to prize open two safes at the Feliu legal practice on the Paseo Mallorca in Palma.

Apparently, 280'000 euros was found inside one.
Sledge-hammers and blow torches were used to open the safes and police remained at the scene for most of the day, sifting through documents and removing further evidence.

According to police sources, the sledge hammers were also used to breach some of the partition walls as part of the exhaustive police search.
Elsewhere in the capital more safes, apparently belonging to the Feliu practice, were being opened by the investigators.
Police yesterday cordoned off a ground floor property connected to the Feliu practice in a street running off calle Industria, where thousands of “key” documents were apparently found.

The Feliu practice and the offices of the notaries Alvaro Delgado and Alberto Herran in calle Union were raided by scores of police on Thursday morning when the massive operation, which also involved the search of 12 Majorcan properties, including a club in Illetas, and two Madrid offices as well as a high street bank in Palma, was launched.

Yesterday, as the investigation widened, all of the suspects being held in police custody proclaimed their innocence.
Two of the 11 were released, to be summoned at a later date, yesterday.
As the Bulletin reported yesterday, Operation Lightning has only just begun and, according to police sources, phase two could be launched over the weekend and further arrests are not being ruled out.

However, in the time being, detectives, the serious squad and tax inspectors are going to start studying some of the thousands of documents and hard-discs confiscated from various locations over the past 48 hours.

The investigation appears to be connected to a series of companies, some off-shore and based in Panama, and over 500 million euros.