Pop star Shakira to go on trial for tax fraud in Spain

Just days after her success at the Latin Grammys, Colombian pop idol Shakira is set to go on trial in Barcelona on Monday for allegedly cheating Spain’s tax office out of 14.5 million euros.

Prosecutors are seeking a jail term of eight years and two months, and a fine of nearly 24 million euros ($24 million dollars) for the 46-year-old singer, who now lives in Miami with her two sons Milan and Sasha.

She has denied any wrongdoing and turned down a plea deal with prosecutors, paving the way for the trial.

The case centres on where the singer, whose hit singles include “Hips Don’t Lie”, “Whenever, Wherever” and the 2010 World Cup song “Waka Waka”, lived between 2012 and 2014.

Prosecutors allege Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll — dubbed the Queen of Latin Pop — spent more than half of that period in Spain and should have paid taxes in the country.

They say she moved to Spain after her relationship with FC Barcelona defender Gerard Pique became public in 2011, but maintained official tax residency in the Bahamas until 2015.

In its indictment, the prosecution claims that Shakira “used a set of companies” based in tax havens “with the intention of not paying” tax in Spain.

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