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Spain’s no. 2 bank to be probed over police spy case

Posted at 9:34 AM, Jul 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-29 12:34:41-04

MADRID (AP) — Spain’s National Court says it has accepted the request of state anti-corruption prosecutors to probe Spain’s second-biggest bank for allegedly paying a police investigator to carry out industrial espionage.

The National Court said Monday that it will investigate the BBVA bank for alleged corruption, bribery and disclosure of secrets.

Prosecutors suspect that BBVA paid police investigator José Manuel Villarejo over several years to illegally gather sensitive information.

BBVA has denied any wrongdoing and initiated an in-house investigation of its own, but the National Court says it has rejected the bank’s claim that it was harmed by Villarejo’s activities.

Villarejo remains in custody after his arrest in 2017 for a separate charge related to the “Operation Tandem” police investigation involving alleged spying, including the use of phone taps and recordings.