Mario Conde became the public enemy number 1 of the Government of Felipe González. The banker had brilliantly accumulated great economic power and the PSOE were suspicious of his intentions. It was injecting large amounts of money into the media and rumors were reaching the Council of Ministers about the collection of commissions on Banesto operations. At the beginning of 1991 the fear that it would ruin the bank took root, and The Government secretly orders the international agency Kroll to investigate Conde, his fortune and his connections: it is the Crillón report, one of the best-kept secrets of felipism, a mystery to public opinion, but nothing that escapes knowledge
of the head of the Spanish intelligence.
Actually there are four Crillón report, delivered one a month between June and September 1992. Emilio Alonso Manglano, then director of Cesid, kept them bound with a string and a pale yellow cardboard cover: 66 pages that are shelled in ‘El chief of the spies’, Manglano’s biography to be published tomorrow. The first starts like this: «MC assets: Before September 1983, the date on which he received commissions for the sale of Laboratorios Abelló, Conde did not have significant assets (…) The scheme formed by the companies through which he has, says owning or has had its shares in Banesto, is clearly designed to hide the truth of its financial situation (…) It tends to reinforce rather than dispel the suspicion that it has substantially benefited from illegal or undeclared transactions, or that it is operating with the financial backing of hidden support ». The authors of the report acknowledge that they crossed red lines to prepare it: “We are currently investigating Conde and his financial activities under the suspicion of the probability that he has obtained large, undeclared profits from operations carried out outside of Spain. Detailed information on this point will be available to us at the end of July, once the current campaign for the presentation of Declarations has ended. Someone from the Tax Agency facilitates or sells information about a taxpayer.
The Crillón report also analyzes the media power of Conde and his surroundings, something that worries the Government of Felipe González so much. Although they acknowledge that “the main Spanish banks have participation in television, the president of Banesto described it as a” political investment. ”
The Kroll agency draws attention to a partner of Mario Conde, Jacques Hachuel, who could compromise him: «Hachuel has intervened in illegal arms operations and his position as both a client and a shareholder of Banesto is one of the ways in which the bank could have been involved in these operations. In addition, Hachuel, through a security company that draws on former Mossad members, is in charge of Conde’s personal protection.
The report emphasizes the importance that Mario Conde gives to the image. The banker “is a powerful and, so far, convincing and credible self-projection imager.” Economic power is added to the power of seduction: «Conde influences many journalists, without manipulation, simply because they find it attractive since he has an attractive and strong personality (…) Conde is always a source of news and there is not a single journalist who want to kill a news source. But there are a large number of journalists who support Conde not only because of his personal sympathy. This first report ends with an analysis of Mario Conde’s connections, which place the character at the center of what could be a spy novel, a film noir with freemasons, arms dealers and international money laundering, albeit with too many hints and conditionals.
The July report, called “Crillón – Report No. 2”, begins with a serious warning: the bank is sinking: “Banesto’s situation is becoming more dangerous every day. The bank will be able to survive during the current year through money generated by the sale of assets […]. The remaining assets are limited and it will be difficult or impossible to sustain the balance during 1993 […]. Conde is fully aware that he is facing a rapidly deteriorating situation. Their attempts to fight appear to include movements to involve the bank in money laundering deals in Argentina, Uruguay and possibly Chile, as well as in corrupt operations related to Argentina’s privatization program, aided by Menem.
It would be a matter of Banesto buying “at an advantageous price” companies in the process of privatization and dividing the commissions between “Menem, his friends and Conde.”
A section entitled “Unreported assets” is included below, which cites links with “Funds likely to come from drug trafficking operations in Thailand and Peru”. They also expand on one of the more murky issues, that of arms trafficking: «Official sources from South Africa confirm Banesto’s participation in arms sales and other operations of the Armscor firm during the 1980s, as well as Conde’s participation in these matters ».
“Crillón – Report No. 3” arrives, which considers Conde’s assets declared in Spain “correct”, 7,000 million pesetas, information confirmed by “a source from the Income Tax department.” Reviewing “undeclared assets in Switzerland”, Crillón identifies UBS (Union of Swiss Banks) as “the main vehicle for Conde to reap commissions from Banesto’s main operations.”
The fourth and final Crillón report focuses on hidden assets in Switzerland, Monaco and other jurisdictions, while expanding data on Armscor’s “illegal arms operations”, in which Banesto was used “before Conde was converted. in president of the bank ». With this highly speculative report, like germ in the shadows, On December 28, 1993, the Bank of Spain intervened Banesto for a equity hole of more than 600,000 million pesetas. Previously, the PSOE has won the general elections again, so an alternation that many took for granted would not yet arrive. Mario Conde has fallen. The new government has won his pulse, or so he thinks. But the banker does not give up and is willing to get up with a clear objective: revenge, a broad chapter that takes place in ‘The Chief of Spies’.
The report on the report
The mystery about the Crillón report is twofold: its content and its payment. According to the general director of the Civil Guard, Luis Roldán, Vice President Narcís Serra gave the order, Roldán himself commissioned it and the international detective agency Kroll drew it up. According to this account, the cost was 100 million pesetas in charge of the reserved funds. This was stated by Roldán in March 1995 before Judge Baltasar Garzón, but this statement fell on deaf ears, as the Second Chamber of the Supreme Court closed the case.
Regarding the payment, Emilio Alonso Manglano obtains relevant information a few days after Banesto’s intervention, at the beginning of 1994. He collects it on January 10 in a notebook with a gray cover, the kind in which he records complementary information to the agendas. Note that Luis Roldán manages two accounts in Switzerland: “One to pay for jobs commissioned by N. Serra”. When the facts transcend, no one wants to take responsibility for having commissioned and paid for this report with public money. But Manglano keeps among his notes a photocopy of a short typewritten document. It barely has three pages. It is entitled “Report on the Kroll-Crillón dossier” and is headed by a stamp that reads “Secret.” It was drawn up after the dismissal of Luis Roldán as general director of the Civil Guard, on December 3, 1993. In his office several documents were kept, including a folder of “Various matters” that includes “a subfolder under the name Kroll- Crillón 16.01.91 “, which revealed the existence of the report on the report, supervised by Roldán:” Several copies were made, probably three. One of them was sent by a guard of the director’s escort to the Secretary of the Vice President of the Government (…) a sealed, personal and confidential envelope addressed to the Hon. Mr. Don Narcís Serra y Serra ”, says the internal report.
As for how it was paid, the Civil Guard investigation maintains: “One afternoon a person from the Secretary of the Vice President of the Government (Narcís Serra) called to have an envelope removed. This person spoke with Lieutenant Colonel Solís and told him to send a trusted person, because it contained seven million pesetas. The Office Secretary sent Sergeant Trinidad and, once the envelope was collected, it was kept in the Office Secretary’s safe. The following day, when Mr. Roldán was informed of the existence of the envelope, he ordered that it be sent to Mr. Julián Sancristóbal. Likewise, on other occasions, by order of Mr. Roldán, Lieutenant Colonel Fuentes sent members of the bodyguard to collect envelopes with money from the Vice Presidency of the Government. The amount collected was, normally, about seven million pesetas, which were given to the former director general, who, in turn, sent it to Don Julián Sancristóbal. Furthermore, “Lieutenant Colonel Fuentes recalls that on one occasion Mr. Roldán said that the vice president was short of money and that he was going to have to put some reserves “.
Sancristóbal, former civil governor of Vizcaya convicted of the kidnapping of Segundo Marey, admitted in court to having paid 67 million pesetas to the Kroll agency for the report. Narcís Serra reminds the authors that the Supreme Court, after the complaint filed by the PP, considered that “it was the government’s obligation to request reports on people who could create difficulties in the good government of the country.” The former vice president of Felipe González not only denies having paid for the report, but even having seen it “beyond a summary.”