On December 14, 2022, Europol reports that an unnamed individual was arrested by Spanish authorities in the Canary Islands in connection with the Magnitsky case, a €219 million corruption case in Russia that involves a massive tax fraud carried out by Russian tax officials. The case was named after Sergei Magnitsky who uncovered the tax fraud and died in Russian prison in 2009.
According to Europol, the individual who was arrested was at the center of a money laundering ring that allegedly funneled millions of euros in Magnitsky-related funds through banks across Europe and then to Spain for the purpose of purchasing real estate. In addition to the arrest, Spanish authorities have, so far, seized 75 properties throughout Spain with a cumulative value of €25 million. With assistance from Europol and Eurojust, Spanish investigators were able to determine that at least some of the dirty money that ended up in Spain was sent to group of Russian nationals with little or no ties to Spain and to a number of shell companies with no real economic activities. Europol reports that the funds were either sent directly to these Russian citizens’ bank accounts under the guise that they were living in Spain and needed to purchase real estate there or sent to Spanish real estate agencies with strong ties to the Russian community for the purpose of purchasing property on behalf of alleged clients.