José Ramón Barral Martínez, popularly known as Nené Barral, and considered the last smuggling kingpin in Galicia, died this Thursday as a result of an illness that has prevented him from being tried for tobacco smuggling, bribery and illicit association.

Nené Barral, married, with four children and three grandchildren, died at the age of 79 and will be buried this Friday, November 24, in the parish cemetery of Ribadumia, the town of which he was mayor for 18 years, first with AP and then with the PP.

His family does not receive mourning, but has released an obituary and his lawyer in the pending judicial procedure, Carmen Ventoso, has shown her pain over the loss through a message on her WhatsApp profile. “See you soon, Nené, Friend. Rest in peace,” she said goodbye.

That last pending case was never judged and last September it was provisionally archived to avoid the procedural deadlines running out. It was filed after Nené Barral’s defense lawyer delivered a forensic report to the court that was going to try him at the Provincial Court of Pontevedra that confirmed his illness.

Since then, and by judicial decision, he had to present a report every ten days with the “evolution of the state of health” of the accused, but now the case will no longer be tried as far as he is concerned. It remains to be seen if he will go to trial against the rest of the defendants.

These events for which he was finally not tried cut short his political career in 2001, as he resigned as mayor of the Pontevedra town of Ribadumia, a seat he had held since 1983, after his arrest for a stash of 400,000 packs of Magnum tobacco seized in the Port of Vigo.

Then the case took so long that it ended up becoming the oldest non-judgmental process in Spain. Furthermore, this judicial delay has led to not only him but three other defendants dying along the way.

Nené Barral was the main accused, considered by the Pontevedra Prosecutor’s Office as the leader of an organization made up of people of Portuguese, Dutch, Swiss, Croatian, North American, English and Polish nationality” who between 1996 and 2001 were dedicated to the introduction into Spain and in the territory of the European Union of important consignments of manufactured tobacco of non-EU origin.

The former mayor and alleged smuggler allegedly held conversations from his office in the Mayor’s Office, among others, with agents of the Customs Surveillance Service and the Civil Guard that he supposedly had on his salary and who revealed confidential information about their investigations to help him carry out his tasks. smuggled. Those wiretaps were cancelled.

The prosecutor asked Barral for 10 years in prison and the payment of a fine of 15 million euros for the crimes of smuggling, bribery and illicit association.

The former mayor of Ribadumia, therefore, was not tried for smuggling, but he does have a criminal record. In 2016 he was convicted of two crimes against the Public Treasury for defrauding 338,493 euros in the personal income tax return for the years 2006 and 2007 for his aquaculture businesses and in the wind energy sector in China and Chile. He acknowledged responsibility for the two crimes and agreed to the sentence of one year in prison, but he was able to avoid that deprivation of liberty in exchange for paying a fine of 4,320 euros.