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Spain Raids Catalan Public Offices Amid Probe Into Aid Money


A TV crew works outside the Popular Party headquarters in Madrid, May 24, 2018. Spain's National Court has issued hefty prison sentences for politicians and business people involved in a kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped fund the ruling governing Popular Party.

Authorities in Spain say police are raiding several public and private offices across Catalonia in an operation against the alleged misappropriation of public development aid money.

Investigating magistrate Joaquin Aguirre in Barcelona ordered Thursday's raid as part of a probe into at least 2 million euros (US$2.3 million) in development grants from the local government that were allegedly misused in an unspecified manner.

It said the investigation, which is also looking into possible abuse of power and fraud charges, has been going on for more than a year and remains sealed.

Private news agency Europa Press reported that 22 people had been arrested. Spanish police confirmed the raids but said the number of people arrested couldn't be confirmed until the operation is closed.

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