THE Balearics was rocked by yet another political scandal yesterday after six people, who were employed by the previous administration, were detained by police for allegedly misusing public funds.
The six include Damia Amengual the former Director General of the Tourism Consortium (a department dependent on the local ministry for Sports and Education which was charged with organising tourism and sporting activities for youngsters). Amengual was detained alongside the department´s former accountant Jaime Cerda, the head of services Juan Francisco Gonsalbez and his wife Maria Reyes Carbonell. The identity of the two others has not been released but court sources said yesterday that they were also involved in the Balearic government department.
Sources at the Balearic Ministry for Sports revealed yesterday that following the change of government last year an internal audit of the accounts at the consortium was ordered. Government spokesperson Margarita Najera said earlier this year that an important black-hole had been discovered in the accounts and the case was handed to the Anti-Corruption Judge. After analysing the evidence, the judge ordered the arrest of the six yesterday. They will remain in police custody overnight and this morning they will appear before a Palma judge. Police sources said yesterday that their investigations were continuing and they were not ruling out the possibility of further arrests.
The local minister for Sport, Mateu Cañellas, was quoted as saying that the case was a great shame. This is a very unfortunate state of affairs which is now in the hands of the judiciary. Cañellas said. It is a great shame that my department is involved in this case, he said, adding that cases of alleged political corruption were very serious offences.
This case is the latest in a long line of allegations which have been made at officials in the last Balearic government and in other regional authorities
The biggest case so far was the arrest of the former city planning councillor Rodrigo de Santos who is alleged to have spent more than 60'000 euros in gay bars and clubs using a council credit card. He has since been arrested on other, unrelated charges.
There are other cases involving former public officials which are being investigated by the police and the anti-corruption judge is investigating at the moment.