Almost 20 arrested for a fraud of 100 million euros in marketing electricity

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  • A network of 13 marketers sold energy to SMEs with false invoicing

  • The sale of electricity to 4,000 SMEs opened a  60 million hole  for generators

  • The operation of the UCO and the CNMC is the first of its kind to be prosecuted

  • Ten of those arrested have been released a few hours later

The Civil Guard has uncovered a  fraud of almost 100 million  euros of thirteen  electric power marketers  that, led by a businessman in the sector,  supplied electricity to some 4,000 SMEs at lower prices  with false billing. It is a pioneer operation, which is the  first criminal intervention for this type of fraud , which until now was administratively sanctioned.

At the moment, the Amber operation – which is still open – resulted in  18 detainees – in the provinces of Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Tarragona, Girona, Alicante and Valencia -, seven registers  and numerous accounts and immobilized assets.

After the first judicial proceedings,  ten of those arrested have been released , while the remaining eight will appear this Friday before the judge of the National Court Santiago Pedraz.

The investigations, which have lasted more than a year, place the fraud starting in 2012, when a network that created several instrumental companies to commercialize  electric power began to operate  .

These companies were  in the name of frontmen  and customers, usually SMEs, to which they offered  electricity at a cost between 20% and 30% less  than the market.

As they  did not buy from the electricity generators all the energy they finally sold  to their customers, there was a gap that  caused the generators a  hole  of 60 million euros, to which we must add  another 20 million for the non-payment of tolls.  that are paid to cover other costs of the electricity system, and the  14 million defrauded to the Treasury .

The Civil Guard has indicated that they are still  investigating the various operations of  money laundering designed by the criminal network to hide the criminal origin of the funds, having detected a monetary flow between fraudulent marketers and a conglomerate of companies linked to the organization criminal.

Collaboration between the UCO and the CNMC

The Central Operating Unit (UCO) has carried out this operation in collaboration with the  National Commission of the Competition Market  (CNMC).

The deputy assistant director of Electric Power of the CNMV, Paloma Espeja, and the chief lieutenant colonel of Economic Crime and Crimes against the Administration of the UCO, Francisco Almansa, have informed in a press conference of the operation, directed by the judge of the Hearing National Santiago Pedraz.

According to the communiqué released by the Civil Guard, it was first detected 10 electrical traders instrumentalized by the criminal organization, which were disqualified by the CNMC. But, later, three new marketers created by the criminal network were discovered to replace the disabled and continue to commit fraud

“This replacement of some marketers by others forms the  main core of the  modus operandi  used to generate the debt within the Spanish electricity system,” explains the note.

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