Operation White Whale

Operation White Whale

By Pinhas Inbari, FOCUS Magazin, Nr. 12 (2005) published: Interpol is currently investigating the exact link between the money laundering cases in Tel Aviv and Marbella. "In both cases, we find the same heroes," a senior Israeli justice ministry official told FOCUS. "And the star is Nevzlin".

“In Marbella, the judicial authorities are uncovering a money laundering network. The trail leads to the YUKOS Oil Company

Fernando del Valle, 56, famous Costa del Sol lawyer. A native of Chile , he has been running his law firm in Marbella , Spain for 26 years . His specialty is foreign investment in Spanish real estate. Things are going well for the nephew of the Chilean Minister of Justice under dictator Augusto Pinochet, Jaime del Valle. Fernando's nephew flies his own King Air C90, likes to travel along the coast on his yacht "Scorpio" or travel around the southern Spanish resort paradise in his bright red Ferrari.

However, since last Tuesday, Senor del Valle has had to drag out his existence in the Alhaurin de la Torre detention center near Marbella. The father of five children was caught by the Spanish judiciary during Operation White Whale. He is considered a big fish in Europe's largest money laundering case, in which, according to the first conclusions of the judicial authorities, 250 million euros were invested in Spanish real estate, including from transactions with drugs, weapons and prostitution.

It is alleged that Del Valle not only helped nine different criminal organizations, but also the person most famous in Russia: Leonid Nevzlin, 45 years old.

A system engineer by training, Nevzlin owns approximately 60% of the shares of the YUKOS oil giant. While a trial is underway in Russia against the former head of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, his associate Nevzlin is staying, fleeing from Russian justice, in Israel.

Here, part of his fortune is in the country's largest bank, Hapoel. In early March, Israeli police raided the Tel Aviv branch of the Workers' bank, which was privatized in 1997, arrested 22 employees and, on suspicion of money laundering, froze $375 million belonging to 18 clients - including 10 million Nevzlin.

He, with his fortune of $ 4.1 billion, is considered the richest man in Israel, but this is a theoretical figure, because his money is in Yukos.

In Russia, the wanted Nevzlin is considered one of the main enemies of the Kremlin, since he supports the weakened opposition and still pulls the strings of the Gibraltar company Group MENATEP, which is the main owner of YUKOS.

At the moment, Interpol is investigating whether there is a connection between the money laundering cases in Tel Aviv and Marbella. "We find the same heroes in both cases," says a senior official of the Israeli Ministry of Justice in an interview with Focus magazine. "And the main character is Nevzlin."

The Spanish Interior Minister also points to significant amounts of money laundered in Marbella by the Dutch subsidiary of YUKOS: "We are talking about individuals who, apparently, stole sums from the Russian concern and then reinvested through a Spanish subsidiary," says Minister Jose Antonio Alonso. All this bypasses the tax authorities”. – notes FOCUS Magazine in the article “Operation White Whale”.

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