Read in Catalan

The reports made by Spanish police commissioner José Manuel Villarejo do not hide the irregularities and illegalities of the investigations carried out by Operation Catalonia. Three of the reports dedicated to the family of former Catalan president Jordi Pujol, to which has had access, make no attempt to obscure that the information they use in the dirty war against the independence process is confidential, especially tax data and extracts from judicial investigations in process. Confidential information is also included in the case of the former vice-president of FC Barcelona, Susana Monje, who revealed in 2022 that she had resigned in 2016 after being blackmailed by Villarejo to get her to reveal alleged irregularities by the Pujols. In other words, the Spanish treasury ministry, led by Cristóbal Montoro, allowed the consultation and use of private data, which was used by police reporting to the interior minister, headed by Jorge Fernández Díaz. Clear evidence for this was given by the fact that, as revealed by this newspaper, the Spanish anti-money laundering agency (SEPBLAC) used information that was not verified or judicially authorized to request data from other countries about the alleged accounts of Catalan politicians, such as the then Catalan president Artur Mas, who was the focus of a Spanish information request to Liechtenstein.

🔒 Spain's anti-laundering authority gave false information to Liechtenstein over the Pujols and Mas

It cannot be said that Cristóbal Montoro was particularly discreet about the inappropriate use made of information from his ministry. The minister's scandalous interventions in the Congress of Deputies, showing that he knew the tax data pertaining to different politicians, and that he urged them to pay their taxes, are well known. With ex-president Pujol's confession in the summer of 2014 that his family had undeclared accounts in Andorra, the minister even dared to accuse him in his parliamentary session of "one or several crimes".



Team of professionals

All of this is evidence of the dirty war against the Catalan independence process, putting in doubt the claims of the-then Spanish government undersecretary for security, Francisco Martínez, who, this Tuesday, denied that there was an operation against Catalan pro-independence leaders led by him and former minister Fernández Díaz, despite the fact that there are audios, in which he himself asks Villarejo about the already judicialized investigation into Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, the ex-president's oldest son, as well as about other police investigations, most of them prospective.

In addition, Villarejo in his diary - which is in the possession of the National Audience judge investigating him in the Tàndem macro-case - maintains that the investigations against the Catalan independence movement were carried out by "a careful selection of chosen professionals, with extensive experience in the movement of capital”. He noted this in his diary on November 17th, 2012, in a note in which he shakes off any responsibility for the leak and publication in the newspaper El Mundo of the alleged draft police report from the UDEF, considering that it was a waste of a good line of investigation. The commissioner argues that to collect the information, "discreet trips" were made to Switzerland, Andorra, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Geneva, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Costa Rica, the US and Panama, among others, in addition to referring to data "facilitated by Germany".

Agenda Villarejo els papers secrets de l'operació catalunya
Commissioner Villarejo explains in his agenda that the Operation Catalonia investigations were carried out by a group of carefully-chosen professionals.

"Cannot be used"

One of the documents this newspaper has had access to is dedicated to the ITV (vehicle inspection service) corruption case - in which Oriol Pujol Ferrusola, fifth child of the ex-president, ended up being convicted of bribery in 2018 - and is marked SECRET. Among other materials in this information memo there is a conversation from the so-called Dorribo case that was being pursued in Galicia to investigate a possible public subsidy fraud. In the conversation, there is talk about the Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) party and the possibility of operating in Catalonia. In the summer of 2011, the Galician judge sent part of the proceedings, relating to ITV concessions, to Catalonia. In addition, given that the Socialist deputy José Blanco was involved in this case, the recording was sent to the Supreme Court, due to his semi-protected status as a parliamentarian, and that court transferred it to the UDEF, the financial crimes unit.

The UDEF, by order of the Supreme Court, indicated that it asked the judge of the Galician court for all the recordings available during the investigation phase; and the Customs Surveillance service, which depends on the Spanish treasury through the Tax Agency, and which acted as judicial police, delivered 37 DVDs. The information that had been made available for the Supreme Court to assess whether to prosecute the Socialist MP, ended up being used to investigate Oriol Pujol.

That the information obtained from the 37 DVDs was obtained in an irregular manner is so obvious that it is warned in the information memo itself. "The conclusions contained in the aforementioned report cannot be used to carry out an official police investigation, since the telephone recordings were given, exclusively, to complete the investigation related to Mr José Blanco." The text notes that some of the activities included in the report were being investigated in Catalonia, with the ITV case, but explains that other investigations for these facts should be ordered by the competent judicial authority. "It is not necessary to insist that the result of the analysis of these telephone conversations by the UDEF cannot be used in judicial proceedings", he insists later.

ITV els papers secrets de l'operacio catalunya
Part of the note on Oriol Pujol, in which it is warned that the information "cannot be used as part of an 'official' investigation" as they were acquired for another case.

Oriol Pujol resigned as general secretary of CDC in March 2013 when he was accused in the ITV case, and accepted a sentence of two and a half years in prison for bribery in order to exonerate his wife. The patriotic police memo - as always, apocryphal - is dated October 29th, 2012, almost a year before he was charged, in July 2013. In other words, the patriotic police already had data on him from the court, and sources close to the case do not rule out that he had been spied on earlier.


Another of the Pujol family, Josep Pujol Ferrusola is also the protagonist of one of commissioner Villarejo's informative memos. This document reveals that in November 2012, "Josep has regularized his account in Switzerland" - that is to say, declared it to the Treasury and met tax obligations. This is confidential information of which the Spanish treasury was aware, and fails to mention the fact that the information memo is dated October 30th, 2012, and reports on a regularization formalized in November, that is to say, one month later.

Josep pujol papers secrets operació catalunya
A patriotic police memo summarising confidential information on Josep Pujol


The memo is almost a CV of Josep Pujol, stating his university studies and business positions, one of them related to the consultancy Europraxis, recounting alleged irregularities detected by the Spanish treasury.



Meanwhile - and coming up to date - oldest son Jordi Pujol Ferrusola has insisted that the investigation - which was first directed against him, and then against the family - began through informants, illegal searches and data theft. He is to assert this at the National Audience after the judge Manuel García-Castellón refused to investigate his presence in the Tándem case against Villarejo this Monday. The oldest Pujol Ferrusola son had asked to take part in the trial as a private prosecution two years ago.

The Spanish treasury and Barça's treasurer

Finally, another emblematic case involves information about a Futbol Club Barcelona director with alleged links to the Pujols - a common feature among the majority of Catalan business-people investigated. The memo is from December 29th, 2012 and it asserts that Susana Monje (identified as MONJ) is the treasurer of the Barça club, and it details that "only her business conglomerate was significant" but now "certain activity has been detected in countries like Venezuela, receiving income through the firm PDVSA; that could point to them as a trust of the Pujol clan, a question that SEPBLAC and the economic intelligence division of the CNI intelligence service continue to investigate, thanks to data obtained through the cooperation of friendly services.” In other words, the note confirms once again the cooperation with the Spanish treasury and finance ministries with the interior ministry in Operation Catalonia and its access to confidential information.

Fragment of the memo referring to the former treasurer of Barça, Susana Monje


🔒 All of our articles in English on Operation Catalonia