The telephone taps ordered by the judge in the ‘Koldo case’ have allowed investigators to verify that the businessmen who benefited from the mask awards boasted of having “a special pass” at the Ministry of Transport. This is stated in a telephone intervention from last October in which the businessman Juan Carlos Cueto calls one of his collaborators and both comment that the businessman Víctor Aldama, also accused like the previous two, had “a special pass ” in the Ministry.

The conversation is intercepted on October 10, 2023 and an excerpt appears in the order issued today by Judge Ismael Moreno to impose precautionary measures on Juan Cueto, who has been prohibited from leaving the country since this Wednesday. The intercepted conversations occur as a result of an investigation by the Ministry of Finance into some of those investigated, which causes calls to be exchanged between them. “Aldama and Koldo – ITMA’s main advisor – had direct links to the contracts investigated,” adds the order, which also refers to conversations from last autumn but related to the 2020 awards, in the midst of the pandemic.

At that time, Koldo García, Ábalos’ former advisor, maintained “security measures in his meetings” with other investigators, says the judge. According to the Civil Guard, Koldo García used his wife, also accused, to send messages to third parties while avoiding telephone conversations. García arranged meetings with them, “regardless of the place of residence of the interlocutors and the duration of the meeting.”

Investigators have also detected that Koldo García “has 500 euro bills for his daily expenses.” This is how he paid, for example, at the La Chalana restaurant on November 6, 2023. The wiretaps also reveal the existence of a “safe” that Ábalos’ advisor and his wife, Patricia Úriz, managed.

In the order of precautionary measures imposed today on businessman Cueto, an additional crime is attributed to him than the rest of those investigated. In addition to criminal organization, influence peddling, money laundering and bribery, the businessman is accused of a tax crime for failing to pay into the Public Treasury a total of 200,000 euros for the corporate tax of Management Solutions – the successful bidder of the contracts investigated – in fiscal year 2020.

Millionaire benefits

The judge considers that “an extremely relevant and revealing piece of information” about the role that Koldo García was able to play in the awarding of the contracts is the “notable increase in assets” that he enjoyed between 2020 and 2022 and that “does not correspond to the income from their official activities. In just two years he accumulated more than 1.5 million euros of assets when his salary as a public official was around 100,000 euros per year. Furthermore, between him and his wife they bought three apartments in Benidorm and his bank accounts collect more than 138,000 in cash income “without any justification.”

However, the greatest benefits would have been obtained by the businessmen involved. The reports provided to the summary prove that the awards generated an “economic benefit” to Aldama of 5.5 million euros, while in the case of Juan Carlos Cueto that figure would have risen to 9.6 million euros. In addition, part of the bribe money was allegedly used to purchase properties in the municipality of Carballeda de Valdeorras (Ourense) or transferred to bank accounts in Brazil and Luxembourg.


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