Paula Maria

Updated Tuesday, February 20, 2024-03:57

Judicial blow against

Biomar Oil

, the importer of


fuel that is on the radar of the Civil Guard and the tax authorities in the framework of an investigation into an alleged network of tax fraud in the sale of diesel in Spain. The Court of Instruction Number 47 of Madrid has rejected the complaint filed by the company against three former workers

whom it accused of defrauding the group of 10 million euros

with the fraudulent sale of hydrocarbons, according to an order dated January 12 to which EL MUNDO has had access.

Biomar Oil accused the shortlist of workers, whose functions were linked to the search for suppliers and clients for the group's hydrocarbon business, of having defrauded the company of millions by marketing fuel (gasoline and diesel)

"at a significantly discount." higher than the market"

, which would have caused "economic benefits for purchasing customers to the detriment of the company". In addition, he reported that these professionals had received commissions from these clients.

In his ruling, Judge

Adolfo Carretero Sánchez

, known for being the judge who investigated the masks case, concluded that neither the crime of fraud nor corruption had been proven. Official Biomar sources assure this medium that

they have already appealed the aforementioned order

and insist that "currently there is no definitive resolution that puts an end to the procedure, there is only an order that agrees to the provisional dismissal of the complaint."

According to the content of the judicial document, the accusations of fraud would have had to do with the alleged irregular sale of the product, violating the obligation to incorporate the percentage of biofuels (bios, in the jargon) required by regulation, both European and national. .

Given that clean fuels have a higher cost than traditional fuels, evading this tax has become a common formula for fraud in Spain. The percentage of bios is verified with a certification system. This leaves room for oil operators to only partially comply with the green product requirements, as long as they pay compensation for the shortfall in certificates that each operator must obtain. Penalties are settled year by year. The problem is that, at the national level, it has been observed that as biosale obligations increase, the amounts not received from compensation also increase. The loss to the public coffers already exceeds

95 million euros

, according to Treasury data.

The order concludes that "it has not been proven" that the defendants sold gasoline and diesel without bios, while the documentation (emails and WhatsApp) provided do prove that "the decision to buy or sell with or without bios ultimately corresponded to the complainant and the company's administrators", who "cannot allege deception (...) especially when they managed a large company dedicated to this business".

"If there was any deception - which there was not - it was certainly not enough to not be discovered with a minimum of attention," the document points out and states that there is also no "clear evidence, but only suspicions" of the collection of commissions by of the defendants.

Moncloa tightens the siege on fraud

Biomar is integrated into the

TCM Investors

holding company , to which


(former subsidiary of Duro Felguera) and


, the fuel storage terminals of the ports of Cartagena and Málaga, respectively, belong. Between 2021 and 2022,

Biomar's turnover went from 25 to more than 1 billion euros

. This meteoric rise in income has caught the attention of the tax authorities and the Armed Institute, which in recent months have tightened their grip on the company, as this newspaper reported.

Recently, according to crude oil market sources, the activity of a third company, Bio-Zenite Energy, whose headquarters coincide with that of the holding company and whose sole shareholder, the company Starpila Solutions, is managed by

Tirso José María Tomás Herrero

, has skyrocketed.

sole administrator of TCM Investor. Tax sources indicate that they will monitor a possible transfer of the fuel purchase and sale activity from Biomar to Bio-Zenite.

The aforementioned investigation goes beyond Biomar, in particular, as it is part of the rise of suspicious purchase and sale operations in the Spanish hydrocarbon market that have skyrocketed in recent months, to the point that some 1,000 gas stations, of the 12,000 that there are in Spain, they would be

selling below the cost price

, a historical figure.

In part, this situation is due to the announcement, at the end of 2023, by the Government of a new control mechanism aimed at cutting out the intermediaries involved in the fuel marketing chain. The Executive itself gave a kind of moratorium until the activation of the new framework, on March 28, an


that fraudsters are taking advantage of to squeeze their operations.