Spanish authorities arrest about 50 politicians and businessmen in anti-corruption sting

Spanish civil guards Monday arrested about 50 politicians, government employees and businessmen and conducted searches in several city halls in an anti-corruption operation across Spain.

Those arrested included half a dozen mayors from the Madrid region and the former vice president of the Madrid autonomous region as well as the head of the provincial council in Leon, in northwestern Spain.

The detainees were suspected of taking kickbacks in exchange for contracts for public works and services worth 250 million euros ($317 million) in only two years.

Among those arrested was Francisco Granados, former Madrid vice president and the number two of the ruling Popular party, or PP, in the region.

Granados resigned last February from his seat in the Senate and as a deputy in Madrid's regional parliament after admitting that in the 90's he had 1.5 million euros ($1.9 million) in a bank account in Switzerland.

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Also arrested were the PP mayors of Collado Villalba and Valdemoro and the Socialist mayor of Parla, all them towns near Madrid.

The anti-corruption Prosecution said the operation would continue in the next few days

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