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01/05/2009 - Police begin Lliber investigation


AULN member Ron Jones told Round Town News that everyone should be backing the investigation by the Policia Judicial de la Guardia Civil. "It is in everyone's interest to be totally honest. It is not an investigation into home owners.
"The police want to trace anyone involved at the town hall, lawyers and professional people, and the builders."
He believes the investigation has gathered pace because of an official complaint by a householder against one of the many builders involved in the construction across the area.
"That was the trigger and someone has decided to look into the whole thing. They know there are 300 illegal houses and they want to look into it rather than look at the council itself."
Jill Morrison, the AULN secretary believes the action follows the European Parliament's call for help for citizens who bought in good faith. "I think it is finally getting to the authorities that they have to do something that has come in the wake of the Auken Report."

In the questionnaire, residents are asked if they knew former mayor Jose Mas Avella, and former architect Amador Signes Arabi – alleged to have issued the building licences between 1999 and 2003 for reforming agricultural buildings that initiated construction of villas.
The police questions also ask were there ruins existed on the plot before construction started, who owned the land both now and before, who applied for the licences, and who carried out the building work.
Householders are also asked for all relevant documentation, including deeds and plans. They are also asked if anyone explained the Spanish system to them, and if so, who.
There is a particular focus on ‘black money'. In a bid to establish a paper trail, residents are also asked if they paid for the work, who they paid, how much they paid, and if they have receipts, invoices or proof.
Ken Speed, another member of the group, said people had been in limbo for four and five years but were now saying "enough is enough".

And he said owners were "trapped" because they could not sell property because it was deemed illegal. "You can imagine our frustrations. We are reasonably intelligent people but we have all walked straight into this.
"We are all like sheep led straight into the abattoir. We are the victims."
Lynne Speed added: "We are not rich people; we do not have a second home. Everything we have is here in Lliber."
The group believes detectives are trying to find out where the money went after householders paid for their dream homes – often in stages.
As Jill pointed out "our money never even touched Spain" as they had simply made transfers between British banks.
"The police are asking if it was black money. We say we simply do not know – we paid the money in good faith," she said.

Written by Jack Troughton Round Town News