A Belgian gallery owner who lives in the Chinese city of Hong Kong has alerted the National Court that he has on deposit since October 2017 a painting purchased by the company of the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, acquired three days before he was arrested, and sent to provisional prison, where he is still. He could never send it to him.
The painting in question, according to the gallery owner, is from the Chinese artist Zhang Ji, measuring one and a half meters wide, just as long, and is part of a series of textured monochrome oil paintings sold and exhibited in his and others International galleries It’s called “The Skin of Truth,” the skin of truth.
The documentation attached in the letter reveals that the Villarejo company paid 26,000 euros, after 4,000 were discounted, and regardless of import costs, which were “paid by the customer.” It is noteworthy that the purchase was formalized on October 31, 2017 and the invoice, assumed by Cenyt, was paid by transfer to the Chinese bank Hang Seng Bank on November 1.
Only two days later, Villarejo, two of his partners, his wife and son were arrested. He is the only one of the “clan” who has remained in prison since then for this macro-cause that pursues, among others, money laundering crimes.
The writing of the gallery owner would not happen to be an anecdote more than those contained in the macrocause Tandem about the illicit of the controversial commissioner, if it were not because it gives a clue that there may be funds abroad as a result of its millionaire network of companies, which still follow in the margins of the radar.
The court has already followed its trail to Uruguay, Panama, Malta, Switzerland and the United Kingdom; and works on a separate investigation piece, only to quantify the scope of the alleged tax crimes that are being imputed to him. “Villarejo controls a complex corporate network and linked bank accounts and affects his person, which are used instrumentally for the commission of the crimes under investigation,” said one of the orders of judge Manuel García Castellón, to warn that companies located in Spain they were only “the most visible element of the organization” because they are supposed to be “international ramifications” of which “their content and scope” is unknown.
A recent report by the Internal Affairs Unit on the commissioner’s business with BBVA, revealed that only through the Cenyt accounts opened between 2005 and 2019, 30.8 million euros passed, which were then referred to other companies inside and outside the framework or used to pay bills and keep employees.
«What to do with him»
They do not include in the list of the most relevant movements that the National Police collects payments to companies related to the art world and neither were paintings or artistic objects of interest when the entries and records were made in their homes and in the office of Picasso Tower. Yes it had about 100,000 euros in cash, some luxury watch and infinity of information on all types of storage media, some, according to sources present in the deployment, “museum-worthy.”
The reason why he ended up buying online the work of a Chinese from a gallery owner based in Honk Kong is a mystery. The dealer explains that between 1995 and 2004 he ran a gallery in the Malaga town of Marbella, but says he does not know any of Cenyt’s partners because “the transaction was made via mail.”
According to his story, it has been in China and two years later, when he has learned that there is an open criminal case against Villarejo, so he has made the work of art available to the National Court and has sought a lawyer Spanish to facilitate interlocution.
Therefore, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office has requested the Court to agree on proceedings, such as an appraisal of the cadre in order to confiscate it, as reported in legal sources to ABC.
Not surprisingly, the first calculation of the civil liability that Villarejo would incur if convicted of money laundering alone spoke of 78 million euros in fines, but the figure was estimated a year ago and since then, the lines of investigation and Thus, the illicit actions attributed to him have more than doubled. .