Former Repsol Security head exonerates Brufau from hiring Villarejo

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Rafael Araujo appears in court at his own request after the Criminal Chamber ordered the reopening of the case against the president of the oil company and Isidro Fainé in February

Repsol’s ex-security director Rafael Araujo took all responsibility this Tuesday before the judge ordering the ‘Villarejo case’ in contracting the services of Cenyt, the company of Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo. The person under investigation appeared at his own request after the Criminal Chamber of the National Supreme Court ordered the reopening of the case against Repsol President Antonio Brufau and former Caixabank President Isidro Fainé last February over their alleged knowledge of espionage over the most responsible person of Sacyr, Luis del Rivero, between 2011 and 2012.

Araujo has stated to Judge Manuel García Castellón that the decision to hire the now-retired commissioner was his, and also claimed that he never informed Brufau of his decision, according to legal sources present at the interrogation, that about one and a half hours took hours.

Araujo told the judge his heritage as a police officer and said he never met Villarejo while he was active: neither at the academy nor at the many destinations they both passed through. His first contact, he said, took place between 2007 and 2008, when the two met over a meal where the commissioner introduced himself as the Chief Inspector on leave who owned a security company.

Araujo, according to the same sources, explained to the magistrate that they did not meet again until 2011. It was huddled before the feast of the Guardian Angels, the patron saint of the National Police, when the then-head of Repsol Security exchanged a few words with the most important investigated in the ‘Tandem Operation’, on provisional release after being arrested in November 2017 and more than three years in protective custody.

In particular, and after reportedly noticing some concern in Villarejo during their conversation, Araujo asked him directly if he worked for Sacyr, which caused him to change his face and turn to profile. So, Araujo thought a good way to deactivate this alleged partnership between Villarejo and Del Rivero would be for Repsol to hire Cenyt directly.

For this, he turned to the Villarejo group because the oil company’s security department could not take on the task of collecting information about the construction company. Araujo asked his colleagues from similar departments in other Ibex-35 companies for their views on the commissioner’s affairs. The task, the investigator admitted, was to find out details about the pact Del Rivero sought to make with Mexican oil company Pemex to gain control of Repsol, a company in which Caixabank was a reference shareholder.

So this business intelligence work sought to reveal a series of details: who was behind the pact, who financed the operation, and what legal and financial backing Sacyr had. Especially, Araujo noted, when Repsol is not a company with the capacity to perform this service. In any case, what Repsol did not pursue, the person appearing concluded, was to obtain information of a personal nature about Del Rivero or his family.

In short, in 2011, Cenyt prepared a series of reports about Luis del Rivero, his wife, the head of security at Sacyr and the former financial director of Repsol with confidential information and telephone surveillance. This reserved data was presumably provided to Villarejo by Commissioner Enrique García Castaño. For this contract, Cenyt received payments from Repsol and Caixabank companies for a value of EUR 413,600, of which 218,900 were payments from the oil company and 194,700 to the bank.

Source: La Verdad

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