A POLICEMAN is facing a €2 million fine and other charges for illegally renting out dozens of tiny, squalid storage units in the basement of a former hotel for people to live in.
The officer converted 73 units, each with a space of just 15 square metres, into living areas in a sprawling, maze-like cellar dubbed ‘the Basement of Terror’ on Calle Joan Miro in Palma, according to Ultima Hora.
An investigation was triggered into the grisly setup after reports started to emerge that people were dying down there due to the unlivable conditions.
Each cockroach-infested, unventilated box room – which did come with a private bathroom – cost approximately €350 a month plus bills.
The rent works out at €34 per square metre, similar to a luxury rate and significantly above the average rent in Palma of €16.10, according to flat-hunting website Idealista.
The lack of affordable housing in Mallorca’s capital led to sky-high demand despite the atrocious conditions, even resulting in several people sharing a single room.
One Spanish resident, known as Pepe, said he had been living in the converted units – which he called a ‘family business’ for over a dozen years.
The disgraced cop offered his dungeon dwellings without any form of rental contract or a certificate of habitability to unregistered migrants, the homeless, or people who had fallen through the cracks of society.
Shockingly, the officer is still collecting rent from tenants occupying the illegal accommodations even as he faces charges of fraud, facilitating irregular immigration and crimes against moral integrity.
The converted accommodations, previously storage rooms in a 1970s building, were once used to house hospitality workers from the mainland during the summer season.