Spain’s exiled former king is reported to be facing an investigation into funds allegedly hidden in a Jersey-based trust.
The probe into Juan Carlos I was triggered by an apparent attempt to transfer millions of euros from the offshore account, which was picked up by the country’s anti-money laundering authority.
According to broadcaster La Sexta, a report on activity involving the account, which apparently holds €10m and of which Juan Carlos is said to be the named beneficiary, was then forwarded to Spanish prosecutors.
Attorney General Dolores Delgado and chief anti-corruption prosecutor Alejandro Luzón are leading the proceedings.
Video: A report about the investigation on La Sexta. (La Sexta)
The latter described the probe as being at an “embryonic” stage when it was announced on Friday, adding that it was too early to determine whether there was evidence of tax or money laundering crimes.
The Jersey Financial Services Commission declined to comment on whether it was assisting with the investigation when asked by Express.
“As the regulator, we will not provide comment on media coverage or enquiries relating to specific allegations of money laundering in Jersey or businesses that we supervise,” a spokesperson said.
“Equally, we do not respond to enquiries or allegations in relation to investigations or our involvement in any investigation.
“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.”
Pictured: The JFSC declined to state whether it was assisting with the investigation.
The investigation is the third probe into Juan Carlos’s finances.
Spain’s highest court is looking into a ‘donation’ he received from Saudi Arabia in 2008, ahead of the awarding of a €6.7bn high-speed train contract to the nation.
It has also been claimed that the ex-King used secret credit cards to spend money from an offshore account.
Juan Carlos has been living at the Emirates Palace hotel in Abu Dhabi since August, following the launch of the investigations into his finances.
The former monarch enjoyed legal immunity while king. However, some of the allegations against him relate to the years after he abdicated in 2014.
‘El Rey Emérito’ ceded the throne following a reign blighted by scandals, despite his role as Spain’s new head of state as it transitioned to democracy following dictator General Franco’s death.
Two years before stepping down, he came under fire for going on a private elephant-hunting trip in Botswana with his former mistress during which he fell and fractured his hip. It also came when the country was still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis.
The saga intensified existing anger from animal rights activists, who had repeatedly protested his penchant for hunting bears. In 2004, he killed nine bears – one of which was pregnant – in Romania.
When he finally stepped down, he was reported as saying he had done so because, “we don’t want my son to wither waiting like Prince Charles."
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