The alleged confession of Jordi Pujol in July 2014 about money in tax havens put the informative focus on the origin of his father's wealth. A simple bank bellhop would become according to his son "an independent bagmaker" although, according to another son of a fatigue partner , Florenci explained that he worked in a bank when he only played at the Stock Exchange. Barcelona had an official Stock Exchange and a strictly private one, the Barcelona Stock Market, the Bolsín , where it was possible to acquire securities without paying them with the simple commitment to liquidate them on a given day. Florenci was dedicated to that and to all possible tricks, moving squalid capitals, using the family as frontmen so that they would not catch him, achieving ridiculous benefits. A simple chicken flight speculator. The Bag will be a simple cover.
It is not the only story invented by Jordi Pujol about his own biography. There were many. In the first volume of his Memoirs, corresponding to his childhood and youth, inventions appear that range from the ruin of his paternal grandfather to his father's reasons for taking him to the German College , where he received a perfectly Nazi education. They also highlight his deliberate forgetfulness about the mental disorder he suffered with 12 years, and about his relationship with Opus Dei . Although perhaps the most amazing thing is how the myth of Catalan nationalism described Franco as corrupter when his father was engaged in currency trading along with a Jewish friend ...
The year 1947 is that of the takeoff of Florenci Pujol, in which three items coincide. Jordi will stress that his father "always earned a good living, although he did not get a solid position until he was 40" (born in 1906, that's where we are). Secondly, about that year he says: «He proposed to the family that we go to Chile. It was 1947. He had talked to a friend. Finally, in that same year touched by the fairies, his father said: "Look, Jordi, I would like you to meet that man." It was David Tennenbaum, a Jew from Galitzia (Poland), from whom only death would separate them. His arrival in Barcelona is surrounded by conjecture, although in 1945 he is registered in the city. In Barcelona, «David played top blanket! I used to sell ties, ”emphasizes Pujol.
The police had another concept of it already in 1947: «There was a group of individuals led by one David Tennembau [sic], a Polish Jew, who in combination with Wolf Dorf have been dedicating themselves a few months ago to clandestinely introduce Spain into Spain precious stones and jewels ». When the latter was arrested , he carried 550,000 pesetas on bills, half a dozen jewels and six small packages containing precious stones. It was no accident that Dorf had lived two and a half years in Lisbon during the war. There the refugees - mainly Jews - sold as much as they had, including the body itself, in order to obtain a boat ticket for the United States. Between 1940 and 1943 the price of diamonds fell at a constant rate.
Pujol will say that his father and Tennenbaum "had contacts through an exchange office that was at the end of the Rambla." It was the only one in Barcelona, owned by the Lambruschini, Italo-Chilean brothers. They were fascist militants who were exiled to Italy at the beginning of the Civil War. His sons fought on the Franco side; one of them died in combat and gave a name to a century of the Falange of Barcelona. Florenci had no qualms about having business with them. It was not those times to go with squeals.
Until 1957, what should be a de facto situation was not formalized. The property passes to Florenci and Tennenbaum, through a man of confidence, that is, straw. Francisco Batalla Miquel was the new owner and one of the founders of Banca Catalana.
MONEY WAS RUNNING WITH THE MARINES
On January 10, 1951 American warships docked in Barcelona. In this first visit it is estimated that the crew, in three days, had exchanged dollars for the fabulous amount of two million pesetas, a good part of which must have passed through the exchange house. From then on, it was estimated that, for each day of stay, the VI Fleet left an average of one million pesetas. The establishment, with its black quotation more favorable than that of the banking entities, should be among the must-see visits for any marine. Prostitutes who routinely charged 15 pesetas per service were now employed for $ 25. So it was no wonder that 500 people queues formed at his door at nine in the morning. An incessant stream of money. Meanwhile, Pujol and his gang were throwing leaflets against the dictatorship during the gala show at the Lyceum offered to US leaders.
Erico Oberlander was a meticulous person. I had everything pointed. For example, «DAVID Rambla», a euphemism to refer to the exchange house. In New York, those interested entered the dollars, Oberlander received the list of the recipients and Tennenbaum delivered the pesetas to pay them. A fruslería of nothing that the police considered in about 10 million pesetas. This also happened in 1951.
This currency trapping was elevated to the category of patriotic deed when Pujol in the Parliament of Catalonia stated: «What was the great problem of cottons around 1950? Can import cotton. [...] you had to pay it in dollars. And there were no dollars. Al quite were his father and the Jewish friend. The cottons handed them the tickets and they were in charge of exchanging them for dollars in Tangier, the only place where the peseta quoted freely. And as if by magic they appeared in New York or in Switzerland. "For years," says Pujol, "this combination gave a lot of money." And fallaciously presents it as the origin of family fortune.
Pujol is never wrong, except to choose the medical career, which enjoyed the most prestige, a true social springboard and access to an enviable economic position. Victim of a rapture of filial love, concluded in 1952, he says, "I started working in the Fides laboratory, from which my father had bought some stock thinking about my future." The reality is more prosaic: another purse contracted a debt with Florenci and the shares changed hands. Both for him and for Tennenbaum to own, a laboratory, with the purchase of antibiotics in the black market and the payment in currencies, was a real expert in sweet.
On March 9, 1959 there is an unusual event: the publication in the BOE of the nominal relationship of the 872 account holders in the Société de la Banque Suisse (BSS) after the arrest in Barcelona of Monsieur Rivara, agent of the entity . Thanks to the proceedings of the Special Court of Monetary Crimes we will have a first group photo. In one of the accounts discovered are Florenci Pujol and Batalla. The Jewish friend acknowledges that he has an open account with García Asturiano SA, dedicated to jewelry, for which he "needs the temporary importation of diamonds." Florenci and Jordi Pujol are partners of this company, who acts "as a delegate to carry out the agreements taken by the shareholders' meeting" in 1957. Pujol's relationship with the precious stones seems to be prolonged. When Tennenbaum creates Diamansa, a company dedicated to the sale of diamonds, it has a first headquarters in Barcelona, but acquires another second headquarters jointly with Jordi Pujol on Aribau Street, in February 1975, when he had already founded Convergència in hiding and abandoned his executive functions in Catalan Banking to supposedly devote himself only to politics.
The wet dream of Catalan nationalism was to have its own bank after the resounding previous failures and the constant dependence of Spanish banks. Not surprisingly Pujol boasted like this: «I was a banker, the most important - forgive the petulance - of the Catalan bankers, and at some point the most innovative», with success known to all.
The creation of Catalan Banking was not easy. Starting with the acquisition of Banca Dorca, which would be its embryo. The Dorca certainly knew Florenci well since the time of the Free Stock Market. They did not trust Florenci and Tennenbaum's weavings, and they were right.
In 1961, while Pujol is in the jail of Zaragoza. the two main promoters of Banca Catalana appear in a new episode - until now also unpublished - of the currency evasion network. The case is "that the operations of pesetas [...] were carried out, in Andorra, by a certain Pujol [...] who together with another person named David [...] made the shipments with passcode to transfer the pesetas to Swiss banks and sometimes some currencies ». The first consequence is that Florenci is under arrest at his home and his passport is withdrawn.
Florenci's statement before the police allows us to glimpse the business scope of the criminal plot, because of this and not otherwise we are talking about: «That your business activities are encrypted in the stock market on your own account, although you also have participation in Laboratorios Martín Cuatrecasas SA, in which he holds the position of chairman of the board of directors and Banca Dorca [...]. It also has a stake in the García Asturiano SA jewelry firm, dedicated to the wholesale jewelry business ». Tennenbaum's statement is mimetic. On the other hand, Francisco Batalla Miguel, owner of the Exchange House, has received from David significant amounts of pesetas, which, it is suspected, may respond to currency trading.
The police find a moving document at Florenci's address: «Ten handwritten pages signed by" UNO DE TANTOS "in which Catalan sends one hundred pesetas per month to Mr. Pujol's son, Mr. Jorge Pujol Soley , as a help and on whose sender Mr. Pujol states in this act he is completely unknown.
The thing does not end here. Tennenbaum, asked by the police to "clarify the annotations, notes, existing calculations in the agenda of notes that have been intervened [...] that respond to the key of one of the current accounts in the Société de la Banque Suisse », Declare: « That the delivery of 180,000 sts. Jordi Pujol refers to the liquidation of a laboratory that had the declarant and other people in society ».
It is not surprising that Pujol himself in his prison writings boasted that "he is a man who handles money."
"Confuse Jesus with Judas"
Pujol banalizes what happened to the point of narrating: "I was 12 years old with my head full of thoughtfulness. They took me to Dr. Moragas, a prestigious child psychiatrist. He asked me to draw some drawings." The diagnosis was: "This child will never be a good cartoonist, but [...] he will know how to take advantage of life". And the therapy consisted of changing his confessor in another church. But things were not so simple.
"Case 5, Card number 2348. Boy of 12 years. A younger sister. No background. Three months ago, before religious images and especially before the Blessed Sacrament, he thinks he sees images of coprological and erotic content . He confuses Jesus in his thoughts with Judas. He believes that all he thinks is sin ... After a few months of psychotherapy with the confessor the deviated images have disappeared and the ideas of guilt have remitted. "
The coincidence with Pujol is total. The publication by Dr. Moragas himself in a work entitled Psychopathic Children responds to the concept of obsession at the time, which lacked specific diagnosis or treatment. Today he would be an "obsessive child" but the fact that Moragas referred him to a "confessor friend" suggests that he did not see him as a mild disorder.
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