MADRID – A former Spanish minister who had served as president of the Valencia region, as well as the ruling Popular Party’s spokesperson in the lower house of parliament, was arrested on Tuesday for suspected money laundering, embezzlement and diversion of funds.
Sources close to the investigation told EFE that Eduardo Zaplana’s arrest was part of an ongoing probe launched by the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office in which at least five others have also been detained.
The former labor and social issues minister was arrested at his house in the eastern city of Valencia by members of the Civil Guard, Spain’s militarized police force.
He started his political career as mayor of the touristic coastal city of Benidorm and led the Valencia regional government between 1995-2002, before being appointed to head the labor ministry by former prime minister Jose Maria Aznar.
Also arrested was businessman Vicente Cotino, whose uncle Juan Cotino was a former Valencia regional president and ex-director of the national police.