The “fail” investments of Zaplana: land in Panama, renewable with Ignacio González and National Geographic

The investigation of the Erial case has allowed to compose, little by little, pulling a fine thread that has ended up forming a skein, the complex and elaborate process allegedly promoted by former Minister Eduardo Zaplana for the collection of illegal commissions through the award of the public contracts of the Wind Plan of the Valencian Community and of the Technical Inspections of Vehicles (ITV). Quantities that would have been diverted to various foreign companies to bleach them and then repatriate them to Spain and invest them.

What was dedicated to that money is clear at certain times, while in others, as is the case of Andorra funds, it remains one of the unknowns to be resolved, as ABC reported Thursday. And in the detail of the destination is where it is found that the former president of the Generalitat Valenciana had several failed investments that either failed to materialize, or reported no profitability.

An example was the one presented by the Uruguayan lawyer Fernando Belhot, testaferro de Zaplana and the main collaborator with the justice in this matter. In the testimony offered to the researchers, he mentioned that his office had obtained the exclusive of a German high-tech product for wastewater treatment.

The former minister, he said, told him that his “friend” Ignacio González, who was president of the Community of Madrid, had made a good relationship with Aguas de Barcelona. So there is a meeting between that company and the German team. When the final test was about to take place, Belhot points out, González is arrested within Operation Lezo. “If the business was successful, the two would take a percentage,” said the lawyer. That is, new “bites.”

Two other unsuccessful projects revealed by the frontman were an investment of half a million euros in National Geographic – “they deceived him,” he said – and another, also half a million, on land in Panama in a Pacific region. “What they put there was pulverized,” he said.

Operations in Spain
To this are added the activities in Spain. All were managed by the Medlevante instrumental society, which received the sum of 2.9 million from the Luxembourgian Imison – the one created in 2001 by the Cotinos and which in 2005 became controlled by the alleged collaborators of Zaplana Joaquín Barceló and Francisco Grau -. This process of returning money from abroad was found in a briefcase of the former minister, which allows researchers to understand the body of evidence.

Barceló and Grau were responsible for administering Medlevante, which in turn participated in the mercantile Gesdesarrollos Integrales with 43%. This had shares in Costera del Glorio, belonging to Joaquín Barceló, and Turnis Sylvatica, which controlled Francisco Grau.

A financial framework with the sole purpose, supposedly, of laundering money to invest in Spain. When Imison passes 2.9 million to Medlevante, it does so in terms of capital increase, but the bulk of these funds end up in Gesdesarrollos, which is responsible for making investments.

One of the most important operations in this regard takes place in 2006, when the purchase of two plots in La Vila Joiosa begins, in which they intended to build apartments and a hotel. It was a land in a very advanced process of reclassification to developable, but it is encyst and it is not until 2014 when it is concluded. Subsequently, already in 2018, it was urbanized. The operation that took Zaplana to jail broke out in that year, so the “ball” was never produced. According to Belhot, he estimated to get around eight million euros.

Another investment that was not consumed was that of the Port of Altea, where the former minister wanted to invest. The idea was to buy from Sabadell the loan he held for 1.8 million and thus keep 33% of the port concession. Subsequently, they would reach an agreement with another shareholder that also had 33% and, in this way, they would stay with the majority. However, and despite the fact that 1.8 million came to enter Sabadell as collateral, the bank ended up negotiating with another group.

Finally, there is the purchase of two apartments under construction in that same area in Altea with the intention of putting them for rent or sale. The real estate crisis and a foreclosure that weighed on the real estate paralyzed the works and ended up negotiating its sale (something that also does not seem to have been achieved). .

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