Madrid – Spain's National Court has handed down the country's first-ever criminal indictments of corporations in a case involving an attempt to import 6.7 tons of cocaine from Venezuela.
Six individuals and five companies are named in the charges announced Friday by National Court Judge Eloy Velasco.
A recent reform of the Spanish penal code makes corporations criminally liable for acts committed in their name by the firms' formal or defacto managers or legal representatives.
Velasco gave the 11 individual and corporate defendants 24 hours to jointly post a surety of 800 million euros ($1.1 billion).
The companies named in the indictment are: Transpinelo S.L.; Investissement Trans Spain Africa S.A.; Multiservicios y Maquinarias O.P.; J. y M. C. A.; and Geormadrid Machinery S.L., all of which have been ordered to seize operations for two years.
Spanish and Venezuelan police thwarted the attempted smuggling operation in June, seizing nearly seven tons of cocaine that was hidden in a consigment of machinery bound from the South American nation to Spain.