Spanish Builder Jailed for Laundering Drug Cash Near Rajoy Home

A Spanish builder was jailed for more than three years by the country’s National Court for laundering drug money through the construction of a luxury mansion for a trafficker in the northwestern region of Galicia.

Amancio Costa Alvarez, 51, built a 7,100 square foot two-story house in the coastal town of Villagarcia de Arosa knowing that the money he was paid came from drug-trafficking profits, according to a court ruling published yesterday. A local drug smuggler in jail during the 1999 construction funneled his profits through a network of companies and used some of the revenue to build the home, Judge Carmen-Paloma Gonzalez said in the report.

Costa’s lawyer Enrique Trebolle didn’t respond to messages left with his assistant seeking comment yesterday and today.

Costa was friends with the drug kingpin and his wife and charged them 217,000 euros ($288,000) for the construction of the house near Pontevedra, the judge said.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy began his career as a property registrar in the town. The villa, located about 100 meters from the port area, was valued at 2.2 million euros by officials in 2012, according to the ruling.

Costa told investigators he only knew his friend was involved in tobacco smuggling, according to the court ruling. The judge also imposed a 217,000-euro fine on Costa.

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