Shakira In The Dock In Spanish Tax Fraud Case

Colombian singer Shakira attends the inauguration of the Nuevo Bosque Pies Descalzos School, supported by her Pies Descalzos Foundation, in El Bosque neighbourhood in Barranquilla, Colombia, on September 16, 2023. (Photo by OSCAR BERROCAL and OSCAR BERROCAL / AFP)

Colombian diva Shakira goes on trial in Barcelona on Monday in a tax fraud case, with Spanish prosecutors demanding a prison sentence of more than eight years.

They accuse the 46-year-old of cheating the Spanish government of 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) on money obtained between 2012 and 2014. The singer denies the claims, claiming she just moved to Spain full-time in 2015.

The dispute revolves around how much time the artist, whose hit tracks include “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Whenever, Wherever”, and the 2010 World Cup song “Waka Waka”, spent in Spain between 2012 and 2014.

According to Spanish officials, Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, called the Queen of Latin Pop, spent more than half of that time in Spain and should have paid taxes there.

According to them, she moved to Spain when her relationship with former FC Barcelona star defender Gerard Pique became known in 2011, although she kept her formal tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

The prosecution argues in its indictment that Shakira “used a set of companies” headquartered in tax havens “with the intention of not paying” tax in Spain.

Prosecutors are demanding an eight-year and two-month prison sentence as well as a fine of roughly 24 million euros ($24 million dollars) for the musician.

According to Shakira’s lawyers, she lived a “nomadic life” and earned the majority of her money from foreign tours until 2014, when she relocated permanently to Barcelona soon before the birth of her second kid in January 2015.

“I’ve paid everything they claimed I owed, even before they filed a lawsuit. So, as of today, I owe zero to them,” the singer said in an interview published in Elle magazine in 2022.

Shakira confirmed her divorce from Pique in June 2022, ending what had been one of the world’s most renowned celebrity relationships. She and her two sons, Milan and Sasha, relocated to Miami in April.

Her high-profile trial is due to begin at 10 a.m. (0900 GMT) in a Barcelona court. It is set to last until December 14, with the court hearing from roughly 120 witnesses.

While the singer is due to testify in the first session of the trial, she may ask the court for permission to miss the future hearings.

Details about her personal life are likely to emerge during the proceedings, as Spanish prosecutors conducted a thorough investigation to substantiate their case.

To support their case, they interviewed her neighbors, tracked her photographs on social media, checked payments at hairdressers, and even visited the health facility she visited during her pregnancy.

Questions about Shakira’s finances have already been raised.

In October 2021, the Latina diva was mentioned in one of the largest-ever leaks of financial information, dubbed as the “Pandora Papers,” which disclosed the global rich’s riches and tax avoidance methods, in her case linked to domicile in the Bahamas.

In recent years, Spain has pushed down on celebrities such as sports stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo for failing to pay their full tax obligations.

Both players were found guilty of evasion and got prison sentences that were reduced since they were first-time offenders.

Pique, Shakira’s former partner, was convicted of tax evasion in 2016 and compelled to pay the tax office 2.1 million euros.

The singer received three Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday in Seville, southern Spain, including song of the year and best pop song for her work with Argentine DJ Bizarrap on “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53.”

The song makes fun of her ex-partner Pique and mentions being left with a “debt to the tax office.” It has been listened to about 1.5 billion times on Spotify and YouTube.

Written by PH

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Army Discovers Mass Grave In Mali

Nigerian Actor, Charles Okocha and Singer Portable Clash over N20 Million