By Humphrey Carter

THE former director of Ibatur, the Balearic Ministry for Tourism's marketing and promotion wing, Juan Carlos Alia, was ordered to be held in prison and denied bail as part of an ongoing investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds at Ibatur between 2003 and 2007. “Operation Pasarela” was mounted on June 29 with the anti-fraud squad investigating the alleged misuse of Ibatur funding during the previous Partido Popular legislature.

According to sources close to the investigation, Alia was apparently charging 10 to 15 percent commission on contracts.
During the first phase of the operation, a total of 12 people were arrested and all have been released, some on bail.
Phase two of the investigation was launched last week with the arrest of two public relations and marketing agents whose companies worked for Ibatur.
And yesterday, further arrests were made when the director of one of the Balearics leading event and concert organisers was also detained by the National Police.

Operation Pasarela has so far also involved police raiding various businesses and foundations here in Majorca and two public relations and sport event organising companies in Madrid.

One of them was responsible for the launch and marketing of the Green Card introduced by Jaume Matas's former PP government.
Matas himself is soon to appear in a Palma court to face various charges of alleged corruption.
Police said yesterday that they were not expecting to make any more immediate arrests.