Exiled king ‘tried to take money from a Jersey bank account’

AN alleged attempt made by Spain’s exiled king to withdraw nearly 10 million euros from a Jersey bank account is being investigated as part of a high-level corruption inquiry, according to international media reports.

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Intelligence about the transaction is reportedly being passed to the Spanish prosecutors as part of a third investigation into the financial dealings of Juan Carlos I, who is believed to have set up a trust in the Channel Islands in the 1990s.

Juan Carlos abdicated the throne in 2014.

According to reports, Spain’s attorney-general, Dolores Delgado, and senior anti-corruption prosecutor Alejandro Luzón are investigating whether a trust existed in Jersey of which Juan Carlos was a beneficiary.

The Spanish royal family has been rocked by recent allegations of corruption, with Juan Carlos accused of receiving millions of dollars of illegal payments connected to a 6.7-billion-euro high-speed train contract in Saudi Arabia in 2011.

It is also alleged that the former regent failed to declare expenses paid for him and members of his family by Mexican millionaire Allen Sanginés- Krause.

The Jersey Financial Services Commission, which regulates the Island’s finance industry, declined to comment on the allegations against Juan Carlos or whether it is involved in the Spanish authorities’ investigations.

However, a spokeswoman said: ‘We do take allegations and suspicions of money laundering very seriously and will investigate in full all credible and substantial allegations.

‘If we conduct an investigation, our conclusions will be published where there is cause to invoke regulatory sanctions.’

A spokeswoman for Jersey Finance Ltd, which represents the industry, said that the organisation was ‘confident’ in the Island’s regime for combating financial crime.

‘It would not be appropriate for Jersey Finance to comment on an individual case but we are confident in the robust quality of our regulatory regime in combating financial crime, in our commitment as a jurisdiction to co-operating with other countries and in the mechanisms available to the authorities to investigate any wrongdoing,’ she said.

‘Jersey is consistently recognised by global standard setters when they carry out independent assessments for the effectiveness of its regulatory regime, for its transparency and information sharing capabilities, and for its ability to prosecute financial crime.’

The Government of Jersey was also contacted for comment.

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