Iberdrola Renovables investigated in Spain for alleged spying on wind developer

Source: EBRD

July 12 (Renewables Now) - Iberdrola Renovables Energia SA, a renewables company and once listed unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola SA (BME:IBE), on Friday was placed under formal investigation for alleged bribery for using the services of an active-duty police officer to spy on a Swiss wind energy developer.

In 2011, Iberdrola Renovables supposedly hired Jose Manuel Villarejo, a disgraced police chief who is at the centre of multiple criminal investigations and court proceedings, to look into Eolica Dobrogea, its majority shareholder Christopher Kaap and attorney Corneliu Dica, according to court documents.

The Spanish company and Eolica Dobrogea were once partnered on a “series of projects” in Romania before “different conflicts” among them emerged. These conflicts, Spain’s National Court says, were resolved in arbitration to the benefit of Iberdrola Renovables.

The accusations of bribery stem from a EUR-29,500 (USD 34,900) invoice issued by Villarejo’s security services firm in February 2012 to Iberdrola Renovables for support and security logistics for personnel in Romania. The real aim of Villarejo’s hiring was to gather information on Eolica Dobrogea, Kaap and Dica to help Iberdrola Renovables “deal with the conflict” it had with the Swiss company, according to the court.

Villarejo’s bill was paid by Iberdrola Renovables on behalf of the company and for its direct benefit, the court claims.

Villarejo was allegedly brought in by the Iberdrola group’s director of security, who as a former police veteran himself should have known he was hiring an active-duty public servant, the court said.

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.184)

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Sladjana has significant experience as a Spain-focused business news reporter and is now diving deeper into the global renewable energy industry. She is the person to seek if you need information about Latin American renewables and the Spanish market.

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