Mayor of Estepona arrested on planning corruption charges

The socialist Mayor of Estepona, Antonio Barrientos, and 24 other people, including local politicians, town hall officials, and real estate developers, were arrested yesterday in a police operation against town hall corruption.

The police action was reminiscent of a similar swoop two years ago in next door Marbella, called Operación Malaya, which lead to the arrest of dozens of politicians, officials, and developers, some of whom, including the previous Mayor Muñoz, and town planning fixer Roca, are still in jail.

At the time of Operation Malaya, Barrientos said that “some people have confused public and private interests to enrich themselves,” and that “if people have been stealing from the till, then they should feel the full force of the law.” He also bemoaned that town planning was becoming “criminalised”.

Also arrested was Jose Romero Gonzalez, president of the Cordoba-based developer Grupo Prasa, who is also the largest shareholder of Cordoba Football Club. Grupo Prasa are behind numerous new developments on the Costa del Sol and other popular coastal areas such as the Costa Blanca and the Balearics.