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Mafia boss claims links to 'corrupt' treasurer

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Mafia boss claims links to 'corrupt' treasurer
Camorra kingpin Ciro Rovai told his associate “he (Bárcenas) told me that mafia and politics are the same”. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP
10:39 CEST+02:00
Just days after 26 suspected members of the Italian Camorra mob were arrested in Madrid, police investigations have revealed that one of the top mafia bosses claimed to have contact and business plans with disgraced Popular Party treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

Taped phone calls from March 25th 2013 between Camorra kingpin Ciro Rovai and an associate of his called Francesco reveal how he spoke of his contact with “the PP treasurer, the one of the scandal”, in reference to Luis Bárcenas.

In the conversation, Rovai tells his associate he had spoken to Bárcenas about possible joint ventures and business contacts.

“He wants to be my partner in the Limoncelli (business)” and “I’ve asked the PP guy if he has friends in Eurovegas (failed casino project) and he said yes” are just two of the quotes which reveal the possible links between the Spanish branch of the Italian crime group and the corruption-tainted treasurer, put behind bars just two months after their alleged phone call.

Rovai even tells his associate “he told me that mafia and politics are the same”.

The conversation then moves on to how Rovai had gone to court to “pick up €600, the interest of a €6,000 trial I won”, Spanish national daily ABC reported.

“100 of these €600 will be for smoking cocaine,” he added.

Rovai and 25 other suspected Camorra members were arrested on Tuesday accused of laundering mafia money through companies in Spain.

Officers seized cash, firearms and drug-related material during the Madrid raids.

As for Luis Bárcenas, he has been in prison since May 24th of 2013 pending an investigation into a corruption case in which he is alleged to have held €47 million in secret Swiss bank accounts.

His alleged role in a secret slush fund for politicians belonging to the country’s ruling Popular Party (PP) has sent shockwaves through Spanish society since the news broke in January 2013.

WHO IS LUIS BÁRCENAS? READ THE LOCAL'S PROFILE OF HIM 

Bárcenas has previously said he ran a second set of books for the PP to make under-the-table payment to top party officials, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, a charge he and his party have strenuously denied. 

On Tuesday, Spanish online daily 20minutos reported Bárcenas is set to ask for €900,000 in court for unfair dismissal from the party.

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