Spain's royal family, a lot like the British royal family, has a tendency to make international headlines for family issues.
However, this time around the allegations are far more serious as they involve financial corruption and fraud.
Spanish media reports former King Juan Carlos I has been accused of pocketing millions of dollars from the Saudi government for a highway project in Riyadh and has stashing his ill-gotten wealth in Swiss bank accounts.
The allegations have been made by Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a German aristocrat, who claims to have had an affair with the former king.
Juan Carlos is widely credited with guiding Spain through the turbulent transition from dictatorship to democracy during the late 70s. But following a series of scandals, he was forced to abdicate in 2014.
Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein claims Juan Carlos I used her tax residence in Monaco to hide overseas property and illegal financial transactions.
He also allegedly opened secret bank accounts in Switzerland under the name of his cousin, Álvaro Jaime de Orleans-Borbón, with the assistance of a Swiss lawyer, Dante Canonica.
One of the most important contracts involving the former monarch was the Haramain High Speed rail with Saudi Arabia, through which, zu Sayn-Wittgenstein claims, Juan Carlos pocketed an €80 million (nearly $90 million) share.
“But if I do it, it is money laundering,” Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein says in a recording, according to the Spanish daily El Español. “They are putting me under tremendous pressure to return these things, but if I do it I am breaking the law and I could go to jail”.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Photo by Pablo Cuadra/Getty Images