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Canary Islands Coastal Authority

Anfi: The Story Behind the News Part Four

This week Inside Timeshare has been following the story of Anfi. It began with the development of the resort, the brief partnership with Tui and then the virtual takeover of the Cazorla Group. We say takeover as when they purchased their 50% share from Tui, they also took hold of the “Golden Share”, which gave them control over the board of directors. Today we revisit a story that came to light in 2016, this is the Tauro Beach Project, one that has been frought with problems and some very serious irregularities.

It all began when the Guardia Civil Nature Protection Service, SEPRONA, challenged the authorisations that were granted to Anfi to occupy over 3Km of the coast. The Guardia Civil had been running an investigation into the Anfi Group, the promoters of the project since work began to transform the beach in February of 2016.

In July 2016, La Provincia published an article about the investigation and how it had now expanded. They reported that the Department of Sustainability of the Coasts and the Sea, which comes under the Ministry of Environment, had dismissed the head of the Canary Islands Coastal Authority, José María Hernández Leon. It appears that his dismissal is based on serious irregularities found in the permissions granted to the Anfi Group for the project. This project is for the creation of a new beach, boardwalk and other facilities at the mouth of the Barranco de Tauro.

As these investigations moved along, it uncovered some very disturbing information, it was announced that the Mayor of Mogan, Onalia Bueno, is also under investigation. This was for granting a licence that had apparently expired. But this was only the tip of what was being uncovered. It was looking like unlawful acts had been committed in the execution of the regeneration works at Tauro Beach.

The plans were to convert the rock and pebble beach into a manmade sandy beach, build a marina and inland, the construction of several hotels, a shopping center and other amenities. With Anfi holding the licence to “exploit” the area for 50 years. This concession has now been legally removed.

It soon came to light that the licences and permissions to start the work and transform the beach were not issued until around 6 months after the fact. Just this alone made the work illegal.

Then there was the controversy about the sand that was to be used for the beach, it was apparently imported from Western Sahara, it is also believed that no environmental precautions were carried out on the imported sand, this is to protect the new area from invasive species.

It also came to light that this sand was imported illegally, there are international and EU rules which govern the use of any resources from this region. The UN and the EU have sanctions on this matter and the sand most definitely comes into the category. One of the reasons is that since the Spanish withdrawal from Western Sahara, Morocco has laid claim to the region and has occupied it against international condemnation.

This story was also published in the UK press, this link will take you to the Inside Timeshare article and a link to The Guardian where it was published.

https://insidetimeshare.com/tauro-beach-uk-news/

The first conviction of this investigation was that of the Head of the Coastal Authority, José María Hernández Leon, it is believed that more charges and convictions may follow.


Ex-Head of the Coastal Authority, José María Hernández Leon
Now serving 3 years

During this whole episode, Inside Timeshare also published what was happening to the people who live at Tauro Beach and the small bar and restaurant situated there. They watched with horror as their beach and area were basically destroyed.

With the transformation of the beach into a flat sandy area, the natural protection of the land behind the beach and subsequently the houses were removed. At the first of the high tides and only a mild swell from a small storm, the sea breached the beach washing much of it away. It did not end there, the local population were flooded out of their homes, this had never happened before, even during some of the most violent storms.

This is just one of the incidents that took place, much of the story can be found on our pages, there are a lot of them, the following link shows just a few, there are also links within the articles to various publications and previous stories on Inside Timeshare.

https://insidetimeshare.com/page/1/?s=tauro+seprona

The investigations are still ongoing, Anfi and the Cazorla Group are also involved and may face possible criminal charges and prosecution, along with members of Mogan Council and especially the Mayor. The discrepancies in the documentation are being viewed very severely as fraudulent, the whole affair is going much deeper and is more complicated than first envisaged.

The debacle that is the Tauro Beach Project, has not done the reputations of many individuals much good, it has also severely tarnished the reputation of Anfi. The cutting of corners, the “favours” made to get things moving and done, it is all smelling of bribery and corruption and it will all come out in the end. When it does, rest assured it will appear on these pages.

Tomorrow we end our series on Anfi: The Story Behind the News, with Part Four. This covers the latest “Boardroom” battle that has now spilled over to the courts and it is a story that shows the great animosity between the partners.

Translations

Danish

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Dutch

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Swedish

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Anfi Boss Cazorla Going to Morocco: Is it Retirement or Escape?

El Diario a Spanish Daily newspaper has today published news that Santiago Santana Cazorla, the 50% shareholder of the Anfi Group is moving to Morocco for “retirement”. Their headline is Santana Cazorla se refugia en Marruecos” or Santana Cazorla takes refuge in Morocco. (see links at foot of page).

eldiario

Cazorla himself puts it down to starting a new phase in his life with new business projects, but within the business world it is seen very differently. Some of the explanations are somewhat different, it is widely believed it is down to the endless succession of problems he is facing, not only within his company but also it seems his private life.

 

It is known that he has had many conflicts with his brother Manuel, and various lawsuits have taken place. One is still in process, this involves a corruption scandal known as the Gondola case, it has been ongoing for around ten years at the court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana. This case has been in the hands of around a dozen judges and several prosecutors.

Santiago Santana Cazorla
Santiago Santana Cazorla

 

 

 

 

 

His involvement with Bjorn Lyng began during the development of Anfi Tauro, Cazorla purchased 50% of the Anfi company as Lyng needed investment for his Project of Anfi Tauro. This has presented many disputes between the partners over the years, the most notable was the lawsuit brought by the Lyngs over the misappropriation of funds. The Lyngs instigated criminal proceedings at The Court of Instruction No 3 of San Bartelomé de Tirajana, after it was discovered that around 9 million euros had been diverted to the Cazorla company Hermanos Cazorla, it was said that these funds were used to pay private debts. This money had to be replaced to avoid criminal proceedings so is basically on hold.

 

It has also been suggested that Cazorla is selling off his 50% share of Anfi, it is rumoured that Alfredo Morales may be the buyer, this has been sparked off by the relationship between him and the Director General of the Anfi Group José Luis Trujillo. Morales is also a shareholder of Binter Canarias, the Canarian Airline. This will no doubt please the Lyng family to be rid of Cazorla, after all on many occasions they have tried to oust him from the board, which he controls (see link Battle of Partners).

ANFIDELMAR, (MOGÁN), 30-08-2006, FOTOS: SANTI BLANCO. ENTREVISTA A JOSÉ MANUEL SORIA, PRESIDENTE DEL CABILDO DE GRAN CANARIA.
José Manuel Soria during his stay at Anfi

It is the projects at Anfi Tauro and now the Tauro Beach project that has been the cause of many of his headaches. The first notable scandal was the Salmon case, this involved the then head of the Canarian Government José Manuel Soria and involved his trip with Bjorn Lyng, flying by private jet to Austria for a concert and then on to Norway for salmon fishing. Hence the name of the case. Then staying as a guest at Anfi del Mar also courted controversy. At the time the Anfi Tauro Project was about to undergo considerable streamlining, permissions would not be granted unless this happened. Just after this trip and holiday at Anfi the project was given the go ahead by the government in its entirety, with no streamlining. A reporter then made a denuncia against Soria for corruption, the judge in the case due to certain senior Anfi management testimonies found no case to answer. Again this caused major uproar in the press and in local communities.

 

Now we have a possible corruption scandal about to erupt over the Tauro Beach Project, which Inside Timeshare has been highlighting over the past few weeks (search Tauro Beach). The project involves the creation of a man made beach, boardwalk, shopping center and marina at the Barranco de Tauro, this is being constructed by the Cazorla Construction Company on behalf of the Anfi Group. It involves the importation of 70,000 tonnes of sand from the Sahara, it has also caused many problems for the local residents. It was only at the beginning of August the high tides began overflowing the beach and flooding local homes, had there been a storm at sea coupled with the high tide the situation would have been worse.

gc-seprona

The Guardia Civil Nature Protection Unit (SEPRONA) have  instigated an investigation which resulted in the dismissal of the head of the Canary Islands Coastal Authority José Maria Hernández Leon. The local residents of Tauro have also made formal complaints to the Guardia Civil over the flooding, which the Guardia are now investigating. This particular episode is still in the early stages and may cost the Anfi Group dearly.

 

So the question has to be asked, is this “retirement” or is he fleeing in order to escape the consequences of his actions? After all he is no stranger to scandal, accusations of corruption and lawsuits. The Anfi empire is certainly in disarray, with the scandal erupting over Tauro Beach, then there is the matter of all the court cases for mis-selling and illegal contracts. They have already lost millions of euros in the past year alone, also having 17 Supreme Court judgements against them, with hundreds more in the pipeline.

 

Could it be you the members of Anfi who may just be more victims in all this, what happens if these scandals become full blown court cases? Will you be lumbered with special levies to cover lost money or will you just lose your membership? Only time will tell.

 

If you have any questions or comments about this or any timeshare matter, contact Inside Timeshare and we will try to answer them for you.

 

http://www.eldiario.es/canariasahora/topsecret/Santana-Cazorla-refugia-Marruecos_6_549155083.html

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/great-anfi-battle-partners/

 

Tauro Beach Project: Latest News

Since Inside Timeshare published the last update on the Tauro Beach Project 5 August 2016, Canarias7.es an online paper published further news.

 

http://www.canarias7.es/articulo.cfm?id=430302

 

In the last article we showed a video of the waves crashing up the beach and flooding the homes of local residents. The weather was not what could be called bad and even the waves were not that high. So why has this flooding taken place?

 

Before the creation of the beach, it was made up of rocks and large pebbles, (see picture), this was a natural dispersant of the energy of the tides and waves, it would absorb the waves as they came in, it was also much higher affording a lot more protection. Since the creation of the beach, this natural defence has gone, bringing the high tide 50 meters further up the beach. What we saw in the video is the consequence of creating this beach, the sea has no barrier, therefore it rose up the beach and caused considerable distress to the local inhabitants. The question is, had the seas been in full storm mode what would have happened to the area?

tauro pebble beach

Surely this should have come to the attention of the planners of the project, had the correct investigations taken place. Where are the environmental impact reports on this project, or were the permissions and licences approved without this consideration? Is this another controversy Anfi group have got themselves into?

 

The residents have now filed complaints with the Guardia Civil, who are themselves behind the original investigation. This has already resulted in the dismissal of the head of Canary Islands Coastal Authority, José Maria Hernández Leon, due to severe irregularities found in the permissions granting the project the the Anfi Group.

Playa-Anfi-Tauro-Canarias-Ahora_EDIIMA20160716_0223_18

 

 

 

 

 

One resident has complained that they are “desperate, nobody pays attention to us”. They also fear that the next high tide might not be so forgiving. Their next obstacle is who is going to pay for the damage to these homes, many electrical appliances have been damaged due to flooding in the homes of around 40 centimeters. Will it be the Environment Department of Mogan, The Coastal Authority or are Anfi going to find themselves in another legal wrangle over compensation?

 

If Anfi are found liable as the project developers and it comes to light they were involved with the irregularities of the permissions, what is the cost going to be to them? The project has already cost millions, if it is shelved and the beach reverted back to the original state or some kind of defence built who will be paying the bill?

Anfi-Beach-Construction-3-1

Could it be the Anfi owners / members will end up paying the price with increased maintenance fees, or even as we have seen with Diversified bringing in a special levy? If so the question must be asked, why should they pay for something they are not responsible for? Along with all the court cases against Anfi this could prove very costly for them.

This latest revelation into the business practices of the Anfi Group, certainly raises many questions, has there been undue influence by the group to secure the project? How far up the proverbial political ladder does it go? Will we be seeing charges brought for negligence, influence peddling or some other serious crime?

 

Many questions have been raised over this project, none so far have been answered, especially for the residents of Tauro. This may just be the tip of the iceberg, it is definitely something the Anfi Group could do without, especially as they are under fire in the Supreme Courts over the mis-selling of timeshares over the years. This alone has cost them millions. As we have said before only time will tell, so watch this space.

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/irregularities-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

http://insidetimeshare.com/update-anfi-tauro-beach-project/

 

The following link contains video footage.

http://insidetimeshare.com/anfi-tauro-beach-project-people-flooded/

 

The following links are from a local resident.

 

If you have any questions regarding this or any other matter, Inside Timeshare will be happy to provide the answers. If we do not know the answer, we will find out for you. If you have any comments or would like to share something please leave them in our comments section.

 

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