Shakira, a Grammy-winning singer from Colombia, will go on trial on Monday in Barcelona for tax fraud, and Spanish prosecutors are aiming to sentence him to more than eight years in prison.
The singer, who claims she only moved to Spain full-time in 2015, refutes the accusations that the 46-year-old stole 14.5 million euros ($15.7 million) from income earned between 2012 and 2014.
The case focuses on how much time the singer, whose hit singles “Hips Don’t Lie,” “Whenever, Wherever,” and “Waka Waka,” a 2010 World Cup song, spent in Spain between 2012 and 2014.
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, also known as the Queen of Latin Pop, allegedly spent more than half of that time in Spain and ought to have paid taxes there, according to Spanish authorities.
They claim that after her relationship with Gerard Pique, a former star player for FC Barcelona, was made public in 2011, she left the Bahamas but continued to hold official tax residency there until 2015.
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The prosecution alleges in its indictment that Shakira “used a set of companies” based in tax havens “with the intention of not paying” Spanish tax.
The singer is facing an eight years and two months in prison as well as a fine of almost 24 million euros ($24 million).
According to Shakira’s attorneys, she lived a “nomadic life” up until 2014, made the majority of her money from international tours, and relocated permanently to Barcelona just before her second son was born in January 2015.
“Even before they filed a lawsuit, I paid everything they said I owed.” In an interview that was published in Elle magazine in 2022, the singer stated that as of today, I owe them nothing.
After a ten-year relationship, Shakira announced her breakup with Pique in June 2022, putting an end to one of the most well-known celebrity couples in the world. With their two sons Milan and Sasha, she relocated to Miami in April.
At 10 am (0900 GMT), her high-profile trial is scheduled to begin in a Barcelona court. Nearly 120 witnesses are expected to testify before the court on December 14. It is anticipated to last until then.
The singer may ask the court for permission to skip the remaining hearings even though she is expected to testify during the trial’s opening session.
Given that Spanish prosecutors conducted a thorough investigation to support their case, it is likely that information about her private life will come to light during the proceedings.
To support their claim, they questioned her neighbors, followed her social media accounts, checked her hairdresser’s payments, and even visited the health clinic she frequented while pregnant.
Shakira’s financial situation has previously been questioned.
The “Pandora Papers,” which revealed the wealth and tax avoidance strategies of the world’s wealthy, in her case relating to residence in the Bahamas, named the Latina superstar in one of largest financial document leaks ever in October 2021.
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, two football stars, have been penalized by Spain in recent years for failing to pay their taxes on time.
Both athletes received prison sentences that were waived for first-time offenders after being found guilty of evasion.
Pique, Shakira’s former partner, was later ordered to pay the tax office 2.1 million euros after being found guilty of tax fraud in 2016.
At the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday in Seville, southern Spain, the singer won three prizes, including best pop song and song of the year for her work with DJ Bizarrap of “Bzrp Music Sessions, Vol. 53 . “
The song makes disparaging remarks about her ex-boyfriend Pique and mentions leaving her with a “debt to the tax office.” On Spotify and YouTube, it has been played nearly 1.5 billion times.
Source: Channels TV