An influential Spanish Union decided to bring before court the leaders of the Polisario and some Spanish NGOs and associations that support the separatist front for massive fraud and misappropriation of humanitarian assistance destined to the Tindouf camps populations.
The Spanish civil servants union “Manos Limpias” (Clean Hands) lodged a complaint with the anti-corruption prosecutor in Madrid on Thursday.
The Union accuses the Polisario leaders and managers of the “Coordination of solidarity associations with the Sahara” (CEAS-Sahara) of the scam of 20 million euros and the massive diversion of humanitarian aid sent to refugees in Tindouf.
The Spanish Union based its complaint on the report published in February 2015 by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF.) The report documented the extent of the fraud and misappropriation of aid between 2003 and 2007.
OLAF had revealed that Algeria and the Polisario have been systematically diverting, since 1991, much of the international humanitarian assistance granted to the refugees.
The aid of 10 million euros that the EU granted regularly every year to the Tindouf camps inhabitants was also subjected to these fraudulent practices.
“Manos Limpias” decided to start judicial procedures to determine the extent of damage suffered by the assistance donors and identify and bring before court the authors of this large-scale trafficking that harmed thousands of Sahrawis forcibly held in Tindouf.
According to the plaintiffs, the traffickers overestimated the actual number of the Tindouf camps inhabitants to get more assistance and consequently embezzle more money and resell more goods in neighboring countries.
Many Members of the European Parliament have denounced before the European institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg the mafia-like practice. Some have even called to stop the assistance once and for all to prevent that the Polisario leaders continue to get richer to the expense of a starving population.
In its complaint, “Manos Limpias” also denounces the complicity between the Polisario representatives in Spain and several Spanish NGOs and associations, including the CEAS-Sahara headed by José Taboada, believed to be the main planner of the fraud.