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Former head of IMF in Spain court, denies alleged money laundering

Staff Writer | July 31, 2018
A former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and an ex-deputy prime minister in Spain’s government who is under investigation for alleged involvement in money laundering for private profit denied any wrongdoing at a hearing in front of an investigating magistrate in Madrid.
Rodrigo Rato
Europe   Rodrigo Rato was Spain’s economy minister
Rodrigo Rato, who had also been Spain’s economy minister for eight years until 2004 and left his post as managing director of the IMF to become president of Bankia, a Spanish lender whose losses following the 2008 financial crisis saw it nationalized and bailed out for 18 billion euros ($24 billion), is under investigation on a number of counts of suspected financial misdeeds.

“Accurate data was always available to the Tax Agency, which has preferred to ignore that in order to arrest me,” Rato told EFE as he emerged from the court. “I have not committed any crime, tax-linked or of any other type.”

He denied laundering money through overseas shell companies, something that Spain’s Central Operation Unit of the Civil Guard police service have accused him of.

Speaking to EFE, Rato insisted that the unit “has had to recognize” that despite months of investigation they had not been able to pin charges of tax fraud through foreign currency movements despite alleging the fraud “amounted to 8.5 million euros.”

Rato claimed that he had been subject to “false accusations” by a former Director of Spain’s Antifraud Office, Margarita Garcia-Valdecasas and her team.

Rato, who looks set to face trial in Nov., had answered questions over his alleged ownership of companies domiciled abroad which he had allegedly used as shell companies.