Andreu Martí, the mayor of l’Ametlla de Mar a fishing port in southern Catalonia, Spain, accumulated more than €2 million in corrupt practices between 2003 and 2015 from bribes, according to an investigation by anti-corruption prosecutors.
Just one month before running for election In April 2003 for the center-right Convergència party in l’Ametlla de Mar, in Tarragona province. Andreu Martí allegedly opened a bank account at the Andorra bank of Andbank, the first of at least five bank accounts in which he would eventually deposit more than €2.3 million before being arrested in July 2016.
The alarm was raised In May 2013, by a private individual who filed a complaint with the Antifrau (anti-corruption prosecutors) Office in Catalonia, stating that the creation of La Cala Gestión, a public company of l’Ametlla de Mar, was unnecessary and was solely to hide illegal monetary activities.
Once the public company was formed, Martos was appointed the manager, he was both manager and majority shareholder of Efial Consultoría. Antifrau’s complaint states that there was a legal conflict of interest between the two charges and that the company benefited from by at least two contracts awarded by the municipal.
He is currently out on bail of €600,000, He is accused of funneling money out of Spain to shell companies based in Panama. He also faces charges of money laundering, embezzlement, criminal association, and perverting the course of justice.
Martí took office on June 14, 2003. Investigators have learned from the Andorran authorities that eight months later, €117,500 was paid into an account opened by the mayor in the Banca Privada de Andorra. Over the next 16 months, the same account would be used to deposit a total of €352,527.
The money was transferred from the account of a company based in Panama called Hardfin Investment Corporation, run by Daniel Mestre (who died in 2015) and his son, Oriol Mestres, also arrested and who is known to the authorities for his money laundering activities. He was arrested in 2012 for his involvement in Operation Emperador, accused of laundering €5 million on behalf of Chinese businessman Gao Ping.
The investigation shows that amongst other things in 2008, Martí paid €260,000 for a property. In 2012, he bought a second property, taking out a mortgage of €180,000.