Spanish bank accused of corporate spying
SPAIN’S second-largest bank BBVA is suspected of having used a disgraced former police chief to illegally tap the phones of journalists, politicians and businesspeople to push back an unwanted shareholder, according to media reports. Jose Manuel Villarejo, a retired police superintendent currently in jail, is suspected of having done dirty work, such as blackmail or threats, on behalf of companies or rich individuals for decades. For years, he also recorded compromising conversations with the allpowerful. According to online sources, BBVA used the services of Cenyt, a business intelligence group linked to the former policeman. Villarejo, now 67, allegedly tapped phones of those he felt would be useful in 2004, allowing BBVA to listen in to glean information and avoid construction company Sacyr from becoming a shareholder, they said.