Former banker rearrested by Spanish police

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© RTVE

MARIO CONDE, the disgraced ex-chairman of the Banesto banking firm, has again been arrested on charges of money laundering. Seven other individuals, including Conde’s daughter Alejandra, were also detained as part of the investigation.

On Monday April 11 police searched a number of Conde’s homes and businesses in relation to the new investigation, with Conde accused of funneling money embezzled during the Banesto scandal back to Spain from Switzerland. 

Police say that he has secretly brought around €10 million into the country over the last decade via a series of fake loans between a complex web of front organisations, bogus capital increases and the use of figureheads including his daughter.

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The man once described as “Spain’s Gatsby” was arrested in Seville and now faces fresh charges of money laundering and use of a false identity. 

Now aged 68, Conde was chairman of Banesto when it was seized by the Bank of Spain in 1993 having been on the brink of collapse. He was initially sentenced to four years imprisonment in 1999 after being charged with embezzlement of €3.6 million, but served only 17 months. 

Upon his release he ran for political office but was jailed for a second time in 2002 after a 36-month trial, following accusations of fraud, misappropriation of funds and falsification of public documents.

Having been released on parole in 2005 he again ran for office in 2012, at the same time that the High Court repossessed five of his properties which had allegedly been registered under false names.

Conde will appear before a High Court judge on Wednesday April 13.

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