Rafael Pallardó’s ex-manager answers the questioning of the Attorney General of Andorra
The Court of Courts of Andorra held this Monday a new session of the trial against former managers and executives of the Andorran Private Banking (GAP). This is a remarkable session because, after a year and a half, the last of the accused, amaya de santiago, has begun his statement in court. It is about the one that in her day was manager Delaware Raphael Pallardothe alleged figurehead of the Chinese businessman gao-ping (main accuser of the ‘Emperor Case’ who has been instructed in Spanish national audience and what is the use basic to support the Andorran trial).
In this regard, it should be remembered that according to the prosecution, represented by the Attorney General of the PrincipalityAlfons Alberca, former employees and directors of the extinct BPA favored money laundering of the organization led by gao-ping. However, from Santiago, as did the last defendant to testify, Sergi Fernandezhas focused his first speech on demonstrating that the bank’s procedures never favored money laundering. Emphasizing that during the years that she was the manager of Pallardó All the mechanisms to detect alleged irregularities were effectively activated.
A whiteboard to explain your timeline at the bank
To explain his career path at BPA, linked to the trajectory of your client in the entitythe defendant has provided a blackboard with the chronology of his years worked in the Private Bank of Andorra.
Its objective was to make it clear to the members of the court, led by the Catalan magistrate Enric Angladaque His work was always controlled and protected by his superiors, by bank regulations applicable at all times and for the approval of external money laundering auditorsAs explained at the beginning of this procedure, in June 2021, the former CEO of BPA, joan pau miquel.
The disputed clearing operations
The first part of his statement, a question from the fiscal Ministery – She is the only one of the defendants who, as Joan Pau Miquel did, has agreed to respond to the prosecutor – She has focused on remember your statements in the period of instruction. During this reminder, the questioned ‘cash swap operations’, the epicenter of the doubts of the accusation and the core of this Monday’s session.
In these operations there was a refund and a deposit in the customer accounts in Andorra, while these provided the corresponding cash in Spain. An operation is carried out by BPA and other banks in the Principality.
As an example of these operations, the supporting documents of a cash exchange operation between Raphael Pallardo Y Julia Perfumerythe well-known chain of perfumeries owned by the family of the current president of the government of Andorra, Javier Espot Zamora. This operation, for an import of 75,000 euros, took place in Barcelona in November 2010 and was one of the many that It was carried out under the approval of the entity and the financial regulatory body of Andorra (INAF).
They never charged commissions of any kind.
To during, then listening to the last of the bank manager’s statements during the investigation period, it has been possible to listen to the defendant as already then, in 2016, respond forcefully to questions from the prosecutor in relation, once again, to these disputed ‘exchange operations’: “We have never charged commissions for facilitating exchange operations between our clients. These transactions occupied a very residual part of our work, for which we NEVER charge any commission”.
Along the same lines, he has remarked that all his work was supervised by different superiors, as well as by the compliance department, led by another of the defendants, Isabel Sarmiento.
The managers are neither Interpol nor the Police
Next, the defendant explained that the operations of several of her clients, among them Rafael Pallardó, were subject to “Reinforced procedures to minimize and better control the risk of money laundering”. Namely, were subject to greater prevention controls to avoid, precisely, possible irregularities.
After the lunch break, the prosecutor has continued with his questioning, making special highlight in the training in prevention of money laundering that he received from Santiago. In this sense, after recalling the hours of training he received, the Public Prosecutor has asked if she could know the origin of the money susceptible to laundering to which the defendant has blurted out that “They are neither Interpol nor the Police”.
In this point, de Santiago has wanted to clarify that he knows well that there are some previous crimes that can generate money launderingbut he has insisted that from a bank you can only detect alleged irregularities in the operations of its clientsbut I never got to know what alleged crime or crimes are hidden behind said irregularities. “It cannot be the responsibility of a bank manager, that is covered by some protocols and follows some control mechanismsthe fact that a criminal has a bank accountbecause the bad guys know more than many of us and they can sneak it into us. That’s not to say we didn’t try to minimize risk with our diligence and hard work.”.
In any case, in the case at hand, the ’emperor case’ that serves as the basis of this procedure in Andorra, the investigating judge of the National Court, Jose Luis CalamaYes questioned the existence of crimes other than tax fraud (which was not a crime in the Principality at that time) that give rise to money laundering in Andorra.
This means that if the judicial authority is not clear about the illicit origin of the capital that was deposited in the different Andorran banks, the bank manager would not be able to identify them and would not have to know. “Paranormal powers are asked of us to detect alleged crimes that we do not have to know about.”
with everything, The former BPA worker is expected to last for the next few weeks. When the defendant finishes hearing will be suspended until mid-April 2023when you start with the testimonials. It is expected that the procedure will last, at least, until the end of next year.