| FORMER treasurer and senator of the PP Luis Bárcenas has been forced to hand in his passport as the judge in charge of the slush fund case considers he may flee the country otherwise.
During yesterday's trial, Bárcenas – who is thought to be involved in the Gürtel corruption and money-laundering case and is accused of having paid wage top-ups to PP members in cash over 10 years – admitted that his accounts in Swiss banks had at times contained up to 38 million euros.
Judge Pablo Ruz said Bárcenas had initially denied the existence of the funds held in Switzerland until the authorities in the country provided proof to the court, which Ruz believes is enough to spark suspicions of money-laundering and tax evasion.
He added that according to documentation supplied by the Swiss authorities concerning Bárcenas' accounts with Dresdner Bank, the accused had set up fronting companies abroad to allow him to hide the origin and ownership of his assets.
It is thought he may have illegally avoided paying tax on literally millions of euros.