Carboneras in illegal €28m land deal allegations

Council tainted by bribery and embezzlement claims following whistleblower’s tip off

The Holcim cement making factory

By Richard Torné

The public prosecutor has launched an investigation into an alleged 28m-euro land transfer deal involving Carboneras council and the town’s second biggest employer – cement making firm, Holcim.

According to reports in the Spanish press, Carboneras council allegedly defrauded more than €28m from taxpayers by hugely undervaluing two plots of publicly-owned land which it transferred to cement making firm Holcim for €865,000 in 2013.

In exchange, Holcim handed over three plots, totalling 40,740 square metres in size, which it had leased from the council in 1974 for 99 years and were ostensibly valued at €529,620.

Acting on an anonymous tip-off, the public prosecutor believes council officials may have accepted bribes to sign off the deal, claiming that the two council plots were really worth about €29.4m, while the Holcim grounds were only rated at €1.2m.

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