A court in Spain said Thursday it has shelved a probe into another alleged tax fraud by Colombian pop star Shakira, putting an end to her legal trouble in the country where she once lived.
Prosecutors had opened the case in July, accusing her of using a network of companies, some of them based in tax havens, to cheat the tax office out of 6.6 million euros ($7.09 million) in 2018, including interest and adjustments. A month later, the so-called Queen of Latin Pop paid 6.6 million euros to settle the debt.

But on Wednesday prosecutors recommended that the probe be dropped due to “insufficient evidence” and the court investigating the case agreed.

While the court said the “Hips Don’t Lie” singer had committed “irregularities” in her 2018 tax return, it added that “irregularities are not enough to constitute a (criminal) offence against the tax authorities”.

It added that Shakira did not have “the intent to defraud the tax authorities”.

In a separate case, Shakira in November struck a last-minute settlement with prosecutors on the opening day of her trial over a separate tax fraud charge involving income she earned between 2012 and 2014.

In that case prosecutors had sought a jail sentence of over eight years for the singer. They accused her of defrauding the tax authorities of 14.5 million euros in a case that centred on how much time she was living in Spain.

Shakira denied the charges, saying she only moved to Spain full time in 2015.

By the time the case came to trial, she had already paid 17.45 million euros to settle her outstanding tax debt, prosecutors said at the time.

‘Emotional toll’

On the day it opened, that trial — which had been due to run for three weeks and hear from some 120 witnesses — was quickly concluded after she agreed to pay a fine of nearly 7.8 million euros.

At the time she explained she had settled “with the best interest of my kids at heart” because she needed “to move past the stress and emotional toll of the last several years” and focus on her career.

Shakira, 47, now lives in Miami with her two sons after splitting from Barcelona star defender Gerard Pique.

He was himself convicted of tax fraud in 2016 and ordered to pay 2.1 million euros in fines and arrears. Spain’s Supreme Court in 2021 annulled his conviction.

Last year, Shakira’s superstar Argentine producer Bizarrap won the Latin Grammy for song of the year with a track taking a swipe at Pique — who has since retired from football — in which she accuses him of leaving her with a “debt to the tax office”.

“People on my team tried to convince me to change the lyrics, but I’m not a UN diplomat. I am an artist and, above all, a woman,” Shakira told Spanish celebrity magazine Hola!

Spain has in recent years cracked down on celebrities, including football stars such as Argentina’s Lionel Messi and Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo, for unpaid taxes.

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