LARGE movements of high denomination bank notes (500 euros) are being investigated by the inspectors from the Spanish Tax Office in the Balearics.
The Tax Office representative to the Balearics, Raul Burillo, confirmed that there are 20 investigations currently going on into supposedly fraudulent operations, all of them involving millions of euros, in which 500 euros notes had been used.
As a result of this investigation, there have been voluntary declarations on the part of the taxpayers, said Burillo.
He refused to make public the total amount of all the operations made with 500 euro notes, or the identity of those being investigated.
We have had this information for a few months now, but we need to be very careful how we use it, he emphasised. The Tax Office's inspectors are working to combat fraud stemming from the giving and receiving of 500 euro notes on the islands, following directives from the Madrid Government, the Bank of Spain and various other financial entities.
Burillo explained that it is not a matter of criminalising the possession of these high denomination notes, as their bulk use, in principle, does not signify that anything illegal is going on.
However, he went on, the inspectors should intervene in supposedly fraudulent operations where a person asks for or gives a minimum of 1'000 500 euro notes.
When the inspection produces positive results, in other words when there is proof that the operation could be a criminal one, the Tax Office has to approach the Public Prosecutor on the islands to make an official complaint.
But this is not the Tax Office's only collaboration with the Public Ministry and the courts on the islands. Various units of specialist inspectors have been collaborating for months in two cases which have caught the attention of the media, the so called Andratx case and Operation Relampago.
The Tax Office has put its resources at the disposition of the Public Prosecutor and the judges to help with the investigation of both these cases.
With regard to this, Burillo highlighted that large movements of capital in the Balearics made this one of the regions where the greatest amount of financial investigations take place.