MARBELLA’S council plans to begin the process of revoking a medal awarded to a former police commissioner under investigation over alleged corruption and gang connections.
The Mayor of Marbella, Angeles Muñoz, and the council’s security spokesperson Felix Romero both said the Cross of Professional Merit awarded to Jose Manuel Villarejo would be revoked.
The announcement follows Spanish media reports that revealed Muñoz had given the honour to Villarego in 2014.
Marbella City Council unanimously approved the handing out of the award to the former clerk at a meeting in July of that year.
Villarego was remanded in custody in November of last year ahead after being arrested as part of Operation Tandem. He is currently being held in Estremera Prison in the Madrid region.
Operation Tandem was launched to probe allegations that police officers in Marbella, Sotogrande and Madrid were involved with money laundering, bribery and organised crime.
Villarego’s first job with the police was at a provincial station in San Sebastian. He arrived there in 1975 to take up a post in the anti-terrorist unit set up to combat the Basque nationalist paramilitary group Euskadi Ta Askatasuna (ETA).
He went on to work at the Public Safety Headquarters in Madrid until 1983 before entering the business world from that year until 1993. Villarejo was involved with 46 different firms.
He then returned to the police force, taking up a post as an undercover officer with the Ministry of the Interior before leaving service and settling in his native Andalucia.