surinenglish

New financial irregularities come to light in Parque Animal investigation

The case first came to light in 2010.
The case first came to light in 2010. / SUR
  • The inquiry is now looking into the financial movements of the disgraced shelter's president's children, son-in-law and assistant

The judge in charge of the investigation into financial wrongdoing in the case of the disgraced Parque Animal shelter in Torremolinos has confirmed that the unjustified sacrifice of thousands of animals, mainly cats and dogs, between 2008 and 2010 had financial motives.

According to the investigations, the non-profit organisation was used to pay the private costs of its president, Carmen Marín, currently in prison for animal cruelty and falsification of documents, and members of her family.

The inquiry has now moved onto Marín's two children, her son-in-law and her assistant at the shelter.

The actions of the late brother of former mayor Pedro Fernández Montes are also considered of interest.

The lawyer representing the Association for those affected by Parque Animal, José Luis Mota, had maintained at the initial trial that there were more people involved than just Marín in the scandal. Now the judge is partially accepting this accusation and Marín's assistant (Felipe Barco, also in prison for animal cruelty) will be called to declare in May, accused of money laundering, having allegedly bought a 14,000-euro car with money from the shelter in 2008.

One of Marín's daughters is also accused of money laundering after a payment of 104,384 euros was detected to refit her cosmetic clinic in Los Álamos.

Her husband, Marín's son-in-law, is also under investigation for his role in a trading company which was allegedly used as “a vehicle for the money laundering”.

Marín herself could be facing further charges of fraud for ordering the sacrifice of animals despite them “being brought to the shelter for protection” and normally charging around 60 euros each for services not carried out.

In a previous judgment, Marín had been found to use town hall subsidies to repair an elevator in a building she owns.

She also used shelter money to fund shopping sprees, rent cars, pay for gym memberships and driving lessons, as well as paying for stays in luxury hotels in Marbella, Lisbon, Marrakech, Boston and Saint Petersburg.