Several former BBVA advisers felt snooping and observing for several years after leaving the governing body of a financial institution, although they never reported it. In some cases, there was even evidence, in others – just suspicions and a lot of assumptions about what could be hidden. Now it became known about the hiring of excomisario José Manuel Villarejo by the bank for 14 years and the alleged espionage work entrusted directly by its president Francisco González. suspicions turned into condemnation,
This was reported in EL CORREO by some former advisers to an organization that resigned – in truth, it should be said that they were dismissed or forced to resign in 2002, after the existence of assets of the former BBV was discovered, it remained out of the balance sheet of the company run by companies based in Jersey. A problem that led to the late co-president of the bank Emilio Ibarra and CEO Pedro Luis Uriarte in late 2001,
"For several years I was absolutely sure that my phones were monitored, like the phones of my next of kin“We all noticed strange things, such as the recorded repetition of a conversation that you just had when I picked up the phone again,” says a former bank counselor at the time.
The tension between this group of consultants from BBV and Francisco Gonzalez was more than obvious. Exposing this parallel operation that the entity has had for decades, It also revealed the opening of pension funds on behalf of 22 directors who came from a Basque bank., issued shortly before the merger with Argentaria and the total amount of 19.3 million euros. The money came from the Jersey accounts, and everything indicated that this was the last compensation to the directors, given that from now on and after the merger, their remuneration in the new council will be significantly reduced.
Although from a historical point of view it can be seen that compensation – on average less than 900,000 euros per consultant – should be qualified as “marginal” compared to compensation paid by a bank in the last decade to some of its managerial positions, the truth is that It was the lever that Francisco Gonzalez relied on to make a real breakthrough into the corporation dome.From this point on, directors from Argentina became the majority, and Gonzalez was able to start managing the bank without obstacles and opposition.
"I always suspected that the escorts were transferring information to the bank. Where I went, who I met, what I said in his presence …"Indicates another former advisor to the bank. Francisco Gonzalez himself, according to them, “insisted” that the financial institution pay the costs of maintaining the former advisers, despite the circumstances in which they left the bank, and the existing tensions.
Although at that time almost everyone understood this as a “logical gesture”, given that many of them retained their usual residence in the Basque Country, and their public awareness placed them at the center of the extortion goal of the ETA terrorist group. "Regardless of their work as an escort and the fact that they were really good people, and also that their main mission was to protect me, I always had the idea that what I saw would be known to Francisco Gonzalez.", Adds the ex-consultant.
- Controlled communications.
One of them even heard his own conversations before picking up the phone.
- Power struggle
Some offered their support for the operation Sacyr, which motivated the hiring of Villarejo.
Years face to face
Tensions between this group of directors and the president of BBVA persisted for many years, and not only because this issue led to the judicial procedure prescribed by Judge Garzon – the Supreme Court ruled that there were no illegal actions of pensions in the case of funds, but also some were identified as protagonists in the operation which, in fact, would have encouraged Francisco Gonzalez to hire the services of Villarejo.
Attempts by Luís del Rivero, President of Sacyr, and Juan Abello to take control of the bank and dismiss Francisco González, had the tacit support of some former advisers who had significant stakes. According to information leaks in recent weeks, the bank hired Villarejo services to protect this particular group of shareholders, although the methods used seem to smell illegally from all four sides,
According to this information Villarejo spied on hundreds of businessmen, high-ranking CNMV officials and even members of the government of José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, monitor and record your telephone conversations. A summary of these conversations, at least the fundamental part of what was connected with Sasir’s attempt to attack the bank’s management, was handed over to Julio Corrocano, the head of security, who in his case once reported this to Francisco González.
Doubts about the initial investigation by the bank
BBVA officially acknowledged that in June she began an internal investigation into payments made by Villarejo, the result of which is unknown. Recently, the organization hired the services of two external firms to strengthen and deepen this work. However, yesterday it became known that the first investigation was entrusted to the head of internal audit, Joaquin Gortari. And this is despite the fact that Gortari, the former head of the cabinet and the person with the highest confidence of Francisco Gonzalez, acted as an intermediary in some of the instructions of Villareggio. In particular, according to information known yesterday, a study on safety in the Aegean Sea, conducted in mid-2016, shortly before BBVA’s president began his vacation in the area, hiring a schooner.