Shakira faces jail – media

Spanish prosecutors believe that the superstar committed tax fraud, it’s been reported

Spanish prosecutors have called for a lengthy prison sentence and a huge fine for Colombian pop star Shakira over alleged tax fraud, the local media reported on Friday.

According to a report by EFE, the superstar, whose full name is Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, is accused of failing to pay the Spanish government €14.5 million ($14.72 million) between 2012 and 2014. 

The prosecutors say that she lived with her partner, Gerard Pique, in Spain on a regular basis in Barcelona during this period, spending more than half of each year there, but maintained her official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015. But Shakira claims she did not live in the country at the time and is therefore not obligated to pay taxes there.

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The prosecution wants to give Shakira eight years and two months in prison as well as a fine of more than €23 million ($23.5 million). A trial date is yet to be set.

The indictment comes after the Colombian-born singer rejected a settlement on Wednesday in which she would have had to admit to wrongdoing. According to her lawyers, Shakira was “absolutely certain of her innocence” and decided to go to court to prove her point.

Shakira’s public relations team insists she has never tried to defraud the authorities. Moreover, Shakira has already paid the money demanded by the Spanish Tax Agency along with interest believed to be around €3 million ($3.04 million). 

Shakira, who has been referred to as “the Queen of Latin music,” has sold over 80 million records worldwide. She has won three Grammy Awards, twelve Latin Grammys, and four MTV Video Music Awards.