Tuesday, July 5

Suspicions about bites in the supply of masks for the Diputación de Almería extend to works contracts

The UCO agents investigating the alleged collection of a commission in a contract for the supply of sanitary material to the Diputación de Almería also suspect other works contracts awarded by the provincial entity. This was revealed by the president of the Provincial Council, Javier Aureliano García (PP) in an extraordinary and urgent plenary session held on Friday morning. García explained that during the investigations the investigators also requested the records of the contracts with another company managed by Kilian López Sole, administrator of the company awarded the supply of sanitary material.

The former vice president of the Almería Provincial Council suspected of charging commissions has family ties with the winner of the investigated contract

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López Sole is the sole administrator of Azor Corporate Investment, SL, the company that achieved a contract of almost two million euros to supply masks, protective overalls and nitrile gloves to the Diputación de Almería, in the worst of the first wave of the pandemic. In addition, López Sole is also the sole administrator of Pulconal, SL, whose corporate purpose is linked to the real estate business, and whose contracting with the Provincial Council would also be under the radar of the investigators.

During the searches carried out these days, the agents have found envelopes with more than 150,000 euros, supposedly from the commissions that a Barcelona businessman would have delivered to the former third vice president of the Almería Provincial Council and others, as reported by EFE, citing close sources to the investigation. Óscar Liria has entered provisional prison. The judge investigates 13 people for alleged crimes against public health (drug trafficking), belonging to a criminal organization, money laundering and against the public administration.

16 minor contracts under magnifying glass

According to Javier Aureliano García, the Provincial Council has awarded 16 minor contracts in four years to another of the companies of the main investigated, called Pulconal, SL, as well as an open procedure. The Civil Guard required the officials the complete files of those awards during the registration that it carried out in the Provincial Council last Tuesday.

As reported by elDiario.es/Andalucía, Pulconal achieved at least six contracts from the Provincial Council in 2020, for a total of 141,388 euros. Three contracts were linked to the municipal cemeteries of Armuña, Benizalón and Turrillas, two for playgrounds and another for the general sanitation network. All had very long execution periods, exceeding 80 months and up to 90 months, according to the information offered by the Provincial Council in its electronic headquarters. However, that page with the list of contracts awarded in 2020, which could be consulted until Thursday, now returns an error message.

In addition, in 2019 the Provincial Council awarded Pulconal a contract to make the structure and roof for a petanque court in Tíjola, in exchange for 37,905.85 euros.

Deputy for Development

Óscar Liria, who has been sent to preventive detention without bail by the Court of Instruction 8 of Barcelona, ​​was vice president of the Provincial Council (he was dismissed the same Tuesday) and a deputy for Public Works. Therefore, he was ultimately responsible for contracting works by the Provincial Council in small municipalities. It was common for him to preside over recruitment tables, as can be seen in documents posted on the official pages of State Procurement.

In turn, Liria is a councilor for Fines, whose mayor is her uncle, Rodrigo Sánchez. A son of the mayor has also been arrested in the framework of this operation. For his part, the main investigated, Kilian López, resides in Barcelona, ​​but has his family origins in Fines.

This media revealed on Thursday the kinship of Kilian López Sole with the family of the mayor and the former vice president of the Provincial Council: one of López Sole’s aunts was married to a brother of the mayor. This relationship extends to the business sphere: this woman and a brother of the former vice president of the Provincial Council were administrators of a company until October 2020, when the company changed its name and became part of the corporate network of Kilian López.

Liria, López and a figurehead are the three investigated for whom provisional prison has been decreed, according to EFE. In addition, a search and arrest order has been issued for another man, allegedly linked to the drug trafficking plot that, according to the Civil Guard, is at the origin of the entire investigation.

President of the Provincial Council: a “pristine” file

The case has exploded just ten days after the celebration of a Provincial Congress in which the president of the Provincial Council, Javier Aureliano García, is called to replace Gabriel Amat, the historic leader of the PP in Almeria. García, who is the signatory of the Decree for the purchase of the material under suspicion, insisted this Friday that the adjudication file is “pristine.”

He defended the purchase in a “feat” in a “Persian market”, because it was 25% cheaper than the national average and 40% cheaper than the other offer collected. However, the manager of the company that was discarded explained to this medium that the Provincial Council asked her for a budget in 15 minutes and by WhatsApp, and that she could not prepare it properly.

The merchandise had to arrive in a private charter to Almería. According to García, when receiving it, 29 defective boxes and ten less monkeys were found, and it was claimed for this breach.

“There has been no irregularity when it comes to creating a file to award a contract, I say this categorically. There has not been, ”insisted the president of the Provincial Council, who dismissed the vice president on the same Tuesday that his arrest took place.