The Cas Koldo route leads to Barajas

The investigation of the so-called Koldo plot has reopened doubts about an old episode for which no fully convincing explanations were ever given.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
10 March 2024 Sunday 11:31
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The Cas Koldo route leads to Barajas

The investigation of the so-called Koldo plot has reopened doubts about an old episode for which no fully convincing explanations were ever given. On January 20, 2020, the Vice President of the Venezuelan Government, Delcy Rodríguez, landed for a few hours at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport, which contravened the order of the European Union, since she was forbidden to set foot in the space Schengen. Then it became known that the person who received it was José Luis Ábalos, Minister of Transport and number three of the PSOE at that time. Now, as a result of the legal case opened against Ábalos' ex-advisor, Koldo García, it has become known that he was also present that night, and was also one of the entrepreneurs in the plot, who acted as a link between the ministry and the recipient of 56 million euros in contracts during the pandemic.

After analyzing the summary instructed to the National Court, new unknowns are opened as to why Rodríguez came, why Ábalos received her or why Víctor de Aldama was there that night at the Barajas airport. Judicially, the attempts to open a criminal case on these facts have not been successful. The Supreme Court already said that Ábalos had not committed any criminal offence. The High Court recognized that non-compliance with the foreign policy decisions of the European Union is subject to political control, not criminal liability, with reference to the sanctions and ban on transit by the EU to Venezuela.

The first clue was put on the table by the Tax Agency inspector who opened a file at Soluciones de Gestión (SG), the company at the epicenter of the plot, recipient of the investigated contracts. In his report he investigated the reasons why Aldama, president of Zamora CF and businessman, had received millionaire commissions from SG. During the inspection, a statement was taken from him and he assured that he had carried out mediation tasks, for example, with the airlines to get an affordable price on the flights to bring the masks from China. In the report dedicated to Aldama, the inspector of the National Fraud Investigation Office (ONIF) was "surprised" that this businessman had been in Barajas "on the same day as the so-called Delcygate".

Aldama explained that he had a previous professional relationship with Air Europa because they hired him to act as an adviser to try to recover 200 million dollars owed to him by the Venezuelan government from the sale of tickets. As Aldama himself explained to the inspector, due to economic reasons, Air Europa could not withdraw those funds from Venezuela either physically or electronically. Aldama had to help them. The question that now arises is whether his presence at the airport on the day that Delcy Rodríguez landed for a few hours as a stopover to travel to Turkey had something to do with this management. The airline claims that the advisory tasks did not come to fruition and, therefore, Aldama was not paid the five million dollars that were included as a commission if the operation ended up being successful.

The next clue is the conversation between the head of SG, Iñigo Rotaeche, with Juan Carlos Cueto, a businessman who according to the investigators would be the real beneficiary of the company, and accused of bribery in Angola. As a result of the tax inspection opened for the company's profits thanks to the public funds allocated in the pandemic, the two held conversations, intervened by the agents of the central operational unit (UCO) of the Civil Guard. Both feared what Aldama might reveal in the inspection if called to testify. "They will ask him for everyone, for me, for Angola, for Ábalos, for the president of the Spanish Government, for the Minister of Defense, for Delcy, for the suitcases... for everything".

When the Venezuelan minister's scandal became public, it was said that Rodríguez got off the plane with several suitcases. No court has wanted to investigate it, so today its veracity is not verified. Nevertheless, these two people, close to Koldo García as has been established in the investigation, did refer to the suitcases.

More research data. What is known is that Aldama, Rotaeche and Cueto set up a kind of covert joint venture to contract with the Ministry of Transport - through ADIF and Puertos del Estado -, in addition to the Ministry of the Interior and Canary and Balearic health services. Their connection to the ministry would be Koldo, who, according to the investigation, would have received bribes in exchange for introducing them to the ministry.

Aldama had his own businesses and his relationship with Koldo was clear, according to several witnesses. The then president of Adif, Isabel Pardo de Vera, declared to the agents that she saw this businessman on several occasions meeting with Ábalos' adviser at the ministry. In addition, from several WhatsApp conversations with this businessman - with several of his partners - it appears that he had cash in Latin America. One of the countries where they traveled assiduously was the Dominican Republic. In an exchange of messages between Aldama and his partner, they explain how they were organizing for Joseba García, Koldo's brother, to go there. "Let's see what we can give him", they reflected.