Spain’s royal household said on Monday that the former king, Juan Carlos, was in the United Arab Emirates, two weeks after he left Spain for an unknown destination amid investigations relating to his personal wealth.
The announcement follows a frantic media search for Juan Carlos, whose decision to abandon Spain had shocked many of his compatriots.
In a brief statement, the royal household said that the former king traveled to the United Arab Emirates on Aug. 3. Reached by phone, a spokesman for the royal household would not confirm Juan Carlos’s exact location, nor how long he planned to stay there. ABC, a Spanish newspaper, published an unconfirmed report this month that Juan Carlos had flown by private jet from the Spanish city of Vigo to the emirate of Abu Dhabi and was staying in one of the most expensive suites in a government-owned hotel.
But recently, prosecutors in Spain and in Switzerland have opened investigations into a web of offshore foundations, secret bank accounts and business transactions involving people closely connected to the former monarch. One of the foundations investigated in Switzerland received $100 million from Saudi Arabia, which was placed in a secret Swiss bank account. Prosecutors are now looking into whether the deposit was linked to a Saudi high-speed train contract that was awarded to Spanish companies.
Juan Carlos has not been indicted, and his lawyer said this month that his client would answer questions from the judiciary if asked to do so.
At the time of his departure, Juan Carlos sent a letter to his son, Felipe, in which the former king suggested that he could consolidate the monarchy by distancing his heir “from the public repercussion that some past events of my private life are generating.”