The Court of Instruction No. 47 of Madrid has admitted for processing the complaint of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor against businessmen Luis Medina and Alberto Luceño, for the alleged collection of commissions, some six million euros, in a mask purchase-sale operation during the first wave of the pandemic, in March 2020.
According to the letter formulated by the Public Ministry, they are attributed the alleged commission of the crimes of aggravated fraud, false documents and money laundering. Within the framework of this instruction, the magistrate will take statement in the next few days from the two defendantsas well as the necessary witnesses to clarify the facts.
The proceedings are not secret and the magistrate has offered shares to the Madrid City Council so that he can appear in person in the procedure, according to legal sources.
The mayor of Madrid, José Luis Martinez-Almeida, announced this Wednesday that the Consistory would appear in the case as injured with the aim of “exercising all actions that correspond so that in case there had been a scam, the Madrid City Council can recover the money”.
Luis Medina contacted the Madrid City Council
According to the complaint, Alberto Luceño and Luis Medina “acting in common agreement and with the aim of obtaining an exaggerated and unjustified economic benefit, offered the Madrid City Council the possibility of acquiring large consignments of medical supplies manufactured in China.”
Luis Medina was the person who contacted the Consistory, taking advantage of his status as a public figure and “his friendship with a relative of the mayor of Madrid“, an extreme that yesterday denied the Mayor’s Office of the capital.
He was given the name of the General Coordinator of Budgets and Human Resources of the Treasury and Personnel Government Area of the Madrid City Council, as the person to whom he should contact to specify the terms of the operations.
According to the complaint, this person was also a director of the Madrid Funeral and Cemetery Services Company. From this moment on, negotiations were carried out between this person and Alberto Luceño, who introduced himself as “andExpert in importing products from the Asian marketwith factories in China at its disposal, and as the exclusive agent of the Malaysian company EEE, through which the import was going to be carried out”.
The businessman assured to act moved by the desire to collaborate in the fight against the pandemic. “Actually, he didn’t even have significant experience in import business nor did it have factories in China, in the same way that it was not the exclusive agent of any Malaysian company nor was it acting motivated by any altruistic intention”, underlines the letter from the Prosecutor’s Office.
The City Council would have paid 40% more for the masks
The complaint indicates that the operations cost the Madrid City Council about 10.8 million eurosobtaining “a million masks that, despite being of good quality, the seller would have been willing to sell for a much lower price than what was paid; specifically, 40% of what the City Council paid for them”.
He also received two and a half million pairs of nitrile gloves, of “very inferior quality and different characteristics to those he had been offered, and for which he paid approximately four times the price of that type of glove in a supermarket in Madrid on those same dates”.
In addition, he received 250,000 COVID-19 tests, of which almost a quarter (60,000) were useless due to their low level of sensitivity (66.7%), and another important part (115,000) were, at least, also of doubtful efficacy due to their low level of sensitivity (80%).
“In return, Alberto Luceño received a total of 5,100,000 dollars –4.6 million euros– as commissions, through transfers sent from Malaysia to a personal account,” according to the complaint.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.