Tito's, one of the Cursach Group establishments that was raided.

28-02-2017Alejandro Sepulveda

Bartolomé Cursach will appear in court tomorrow morning, the investigating judge, Manuel Penalva, using the full period of seventy-two hours to consider charges against the owner of Magalluf's BCM club and other establishments. The two others arrested on Tuesday as part of Operation Sancus, Tolo Sbert and Antoni Bergas, will also come before the judge.

Following questioning and statements, the judge will have to decide whether they should be remanded or not.

An aspect of the prosecution's investigation, it is understood, is supposed collusion by the former deputy mayor of Palma, Álvaro Gijón, with Cursach and Miguel Pascual of the hotel group Pabisa, who was arrested some time ago, charged but released. Pascual is implicated in the allegations of police corruption.

What is being looked into is potentially favourable treatment shown to both Cursach and Pascual with regard to the occupation of the "public way" on the front line in Playa de Palma and "suspicious" permission that was given by Gijón when the mayor, Mateu Isern, was on holiday. Podemos have today called for Gijón to give up his seat as a parliamentary deputy for the Partido Popular. Meanwhile, the mayor of Palma, José Hila, has said that there is a need for "certain business practices in Playa de Palma to be eradicated".

The prosecution believes that Cursach effectively controlled a group of police officers, politicians and public servants and was treated favourably by officers with three police units. They did not issue penalties for infractions related to nightclubs and to tiqueteros (or PRs, as they are referred to in English). When other officers did issue penalties, these were not processed.

Police, the judge and the prosecution have been going through thousands of documents that were seized during the raids on Tuesday and Wednesday. Much of their interest lies with accounting procedures that could reveal tax fraud and money laundering. BCM was in fact one of the clubs that was raided last summer as part of a broad investigation into potential fraud at various clubs in Majorca and Ibiza (so not only ones belonging to Cursach).

The name of Bartolomé Cursach has cropped up several times during the lengthy investigation into police corruption, and it is understood that witnesses have given evidence related to alleged drug trafficking.

As further background to the arrest of Cursach, there are the events of 2014 when various businesspeople in Magalluf made statements to the anti-corruption prosecutor complaining about discriminatory treatment by the local police. This led to the arrest of the chief of police, José Antonio Navarro, a case which has yet to be brought before the courts.