Atlético are a club no strangers to illicit activity, and when it was made known last summer that José Luis Pérez Caminero would be taking over for Jesús García Pitarch as Atleti’s sporting director, we knew he would fit right in with our majority-shareholding and criminally convicted directors given his tainted past.
While certainly embarrassing to the legacy of our beloved Atleti, the alleged charges brought against Caminero and 19 others by the 3rd Magistrates’ Court of Majadahonda (Madrid) – accusing the defendants of taking part in a money laundering scheme reportedly organised by both Colombian and Mexican drug cartels – are somewhat unsurprising.
According to court documents, as the Spanish EFE news agency reports, in 2008 and 2009, Caminero participated, along with three others, in “the transporting of money from Madrid to Valladolid, where a group of individuals would help them exchange the money at a financial institution.”
The records also show that the former Rojiblanco midfielder “was detained on 8 June 2009 when he was carrying 58,500 euros in cash he was taking from Valladolid to Madrid to deliver to another defendant”, and that he had previously been placed under police surveillance as early as 22 September 2008, when officers of the Civil Guard (Spanish Police Force) noticed his comings and goings at a jewelry shop in the Spanish capital that had been identified as the criminal organisation’s centre of operations.
The judge also stated that information taken from a USB memory stick belonging to a Mexican citizen also indicted in the scheme, revealed that up to €60 million may have been laundered.
It’s unclear if these charges will eventually lead to Caminero seeing jail time, or what the immediate future holds for him at Atleti.
In other but related news, Atlético are reportedly considering changing their anthem to this.