The Mallorca-based Chief Executive and co-owner of RIU Hotels SA, has been detained in Miami on corruption charges.
The Spanish group has two hotels in Portugal: the 500-room ClubHotel Riu Guarana at Praia da Falésia, Albufeira and the Riu Palace Madeira Hotel.
According to El Mundo, the hotelier surrendered to the US Court on Monday, having traveled from Spain to Miami on a voluntary basis.
Luís Riu Güell is accused of offering free stays at his hotels to Mariano Fernández, the former Contruction Director for Miami, in exchange for him turning a blind eye on the renovation of a hotel in South Beach, according to the Miami Herald. A hundred rooms have been renovated without the necessary permits.
The judge imposed a USD20,000 bail and gave permission for the businessman to travel to his home in Majorca or to any one of his hotels around the world.
In a statement, the hotel group affirmed the innocence of its owner and confirmed that he will be staying in Majorca.
The business was founded in Mallorca by the Riu family in 1953 as a small holiday firm. The international chain now is owned by the family’s third generation.
The company specialises in holiday resorts and 70% of its hotels offer all Inclusive service.
Luís Riu Güell owns the hotel chain with his sister, who is not implicated. The regional vice president of the hotel chain, Alejandro Sanchez del Arco, also faces charges.
The Prosecutor’s Office believes that Mariano Fernández helped Luís Riu with the permits to renovate the hotel and enabled him to avoid fines. In return, according to the arrest warrant, Riu offered Fernández free stays at his hotels in Mexico and the Dominican Republic, according to the Miami Herald.
Luis Riu Güell
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