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It happened almost a year ago, on November 23rd, 2020 at 7:45pm. Four men in a smoked-glass four-wheel-drive vehicle, clad in balaclavas and bearing firearms, assaulted a van belonging to the MRW transport company when it stopped at traffic lights, forced the driver out and fled in the vehicle. The van in question had been hired by the Pujol Ferrusola family to transport from Madrid to Barcelona a large amount of material that the National Audience court had confiscated, from 2014 onwards, as part of its corruption investigation into the family. In a heist worthy of Hollywood, the thieves took possession of all the computers, flash drives, tablets and mobile phones belonging to the Pujol family. Hours later, the charred remains of the transport van were found on a vacant lot.

To be exact, according to the proceedings of a Madrid investigative court, as reported by TV channel La Sexta, the thieves' booty included 15 flash drives, 8 computers, several monitors, mobile phones, memory cards, tablets and DVDs belonging to the former Catalan president and his family. The National Audience had confiscated these objects from the Pujol Ferrusola clan starting in 2014, when it requisitioned the computers of the retired politician's youngest son, Oleguer Pujol, during searches of his home and office. In 2015, material from Jordi 'Junior', Josep and Pere Pujol Ferrusola were taken, as well as from the wife of the first mentioned, Mercè Gironès. Finally, in 2017, the police ended up collecting material from the former Catalan president himself at his home, his second residence in the village of Queralbs and also from a professional office in Barcelona.

Private information

The National Audience had several years to examine all these devices in detail, until in 2019 defence lawyers demanded that the material be returned to them, as the electronic devices also stored private information, such as family or business photos that had nothing to do with the reason for which they were being investigated.

At first, the judge refused to return the material to them, justifying that all the information they had taken possession of was also stored digitally on the cloud, and the family members could access it via that means. However, in 2020, the large amount of material was physically returned to its owners. But it never reached them. Now, a Madrid court is investigating the theft.

The family's suspicions 

Members of the Pujol family regard the theft as highly suspicious, given that, while it could have been a coincidence that the thieves who planned the Hollywood-style heist just happened to select the courier van being used by the political family, it also seems possible that the theft was entirely intentional and the thieves knew exactly what they would find in the vehicle. In this case, who could be behind the highway robbery? Sources from within the family asserted to La Vanguardia that the answer was clear: "The same hand as ever", or in other words: "The patriotic police of Villarejo".

After learning of the theft, the Pujols filed a complaint, about which they so far "have not received any response." For this reason, they are convinced that the police behind the robbery did so with the intention of preventing them from reusing the material, suggesting that there may have found "unusual things" among their electronic files that had spent so many years in the hands of the court authorities in Madrid.