Catalan PP leader appears in Pandora papers linked to a company in the tax haven of Belize
The current mayor of Badalona had powers to manage a company in the Caribbean country between 2005 and 2015, although he claims he did not get any returns
BarcelonaXavier García Albiol received powers to manage Luverne International in in 2005, a company based in Belize – a known tax haven – and kept them until 2015, as reported by La Sexta and El País two of the media outlets that carried out the investigation into the Pandora papers. The company was registered on January 1, 2005, when Albiol was already part of the Catalan PP's executive, through the office Alemán, Cordero, Galindo and Lee (Alcogal), one of the fourteen law firms that are at the centre of the journalistic investigation that has revealed 11.9 million documents by companies specialised in creating companies in tax havens. He mediated in the Afsi operation, a consultancy created in Andorra by Andbank. Albiol received the powers of attorney from the directors of Luverne International in early April 2005, before a notary in Panama, and the company was dissolved on November 9, 2015. During these ten years Albiol was mayor of Badalona (2011-2015) and candidate to preside the Generalitat.
According to La Sexta and El País, when they asked Albiol for explanations, the current mayor of Badalona – he regained the mayoralty in May 2020 – was surprised, but the next day he called them to confirm that this power had existed and attributed it to the fact that some acquaintances of his offered him the chance to do business in Central America, but it was never carried out. In a public statement distributed on Wednesday by the PP, Albiol stresses that he never obtained "any returns, any increase in assets, or remuneration of any kind". "I never made use of this power," he says.
The mayor of Badalona also discards "any connection" between the company in Belize and his political activity and concludes that he is "a serious and honest person". "During all my years at the head of the mayor's office, both I and my government team have developed a very good management for the city, from the deepest love for Badalona and to improve the daily life of our neighbours," he says.