By Jo Pugh • 17 September 2023 • 11:21
Local Police Uniform. Credit: PXFuel
Six years and three months after initial arrests in June 2017, the trial for the “police uniforms case” commences on Monday, Sepyember 18, in the Provincial Court of Alicante, Elche.
The case revolves around alleged irregularities in the purchase of police uniforms for the Santa Pola Local Police and Civil Protection, involving former PP councillors, the head of the Local Police, an officer, an agent, and representatives of various companies.
Accused individuals include the current mayor of the Local Police, José Miguel Zaragoza; officer Roque Miguel Alemañ; agent Alfonso Aracil; and former councilors Antonio Pérez Huerta and Andrés García Baile. Additionally, representatives of companies Uniformes Riera, Gil de los Ríos, and Isignia face charges.
Both the Prosecutor’s Office and the private prosecution seek penalties ranging from three to four years in prison and several years of disqualification for the alleged ongoing crimes of prevarication, fraud, and embezzlement, reported Alicante Plaza.
The case has reached the oral hearing after six years of investigation and multiple appeals by the accused aimed at invalidating evidence. Additionally, a complaint was filed in another court, which further delayed the initial case for several years.
The case originated in June 2017 when several agents and commanders of the Santa Pola Local Police were arrested following an operation by the UDEF (Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit) of the National Police. The investigation focused on possible irregularities in the purchase of materials, particularly uniforms, for the Santa Pola Local Police between 2011 and 2015.
Before the arrests, Santa Pola City Council, led by a quadripartite coalition, had suspended some contracts and reviewed previous ones due to discrepancies between the payments made and the materials received.
Additionally, three companies from the same group had been awarded minor contracts to supply materials for the Local Police and Civil Protection.
The UDEF investigation uncovered potential collusion between the implicated companies, Uniformes Riera and Gil de los Ríos group, and the accused individuals.
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Jo Pugh is a journalist based in the Costa Blanca North. Originally from London, she has been involved in journalism and photography for 20 years. She has lived in Spain for 12 years, and is a dedicated and passionate writer.
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