Francisco “Paco” Escámez and José Luis Ocaña: Where Are They Now?

The true-story-inspired narrative of the Spanish crime film, ‘The Courier,’ employs a real-life scandal as the story’s premise to chart a thrilling tale about exploitations of opportunities within corruption. The film is set in the early 2000s and revolves around Iván Márquez, a man from a financially unstable background. Refusing to settle for a regular life, he seizes the chance to make easy money by transporting laundered money from one corrupt official to another and pocketing a sizeable commission. Thus, partaking in his unique social circle’s social climb, Iván continues chasing after bigger and better profits until his own personal reckoning arrives.

Within the film’s real-life context explored under a fictionalized lens, several characters and events raise the viewers’ intrigue regarding their basis in reality. Among these elements, the characters of Francisco “Paco” Escámez and José Luis Ocaña, two people whose involvement is irreplaceable within the chain of corrupted links, are bound to attract increased attention.

Juan Antonio Roca’s Involvement in the Real-Life Malaya Operation

‘The Courier’ walks the entertaining line between fact and fiction, utilizing Spain’s real-life economic Sacandal from the early 2000s and a variety of fictional plotlines within it to bring a complete story about greed’s ability to corrupt. In doing so, the characters within the story emerge with a narrative role that remains reminiscent of reality but storylines that are largely fictionalized with ample creative liberty in play. For the same reason, Francisco “Paco” Escámez, the mastermind behind the money laundering scheme, and José Luis Ocaña, the corrupt city official, aren’t biographical interpretations of any actual individuals. Even so, they share a slight evident similarity with Juan Antonio Roca.

Labeled as the “puppetmaster” behind the Malaya corruption case, Juan Antonio Roca started off as a chauffeur for Jesus Gil, the former mayor of Marbella, Spain. After rising through the ranks, Roca became the city’s councilor for Urban Planning in 1992 and served until 2003. Within this period emerged the unrivaled practice of bribe collection within the real estate sect. According to reports, the man engaged in bribery regarding developers’ acquirement of building licensees, earning millions in profit.

Allegedly, it is speculated that Roca made at least 125 million euros from these bribery practices, including several assets like properties, art, and otherwise. Under his supervision, numerous other officials and councilors, such as Isabel Garcia Marcos and Pedro Tomas Reñones Grego, participated in similar acts of corruption. As per reports, Roca and others involved in these schemes left behind 16,000 illegal construction projects as well as 2.4 billion of embezzled funds.

The link between Roca and José Manuel Poga’s character, José Luis Ocaña, remains evident through their shared post as Urban Planning councilors. Much like how Roca’s real-life position within the government aided him in facilitating widespread bribe collection, Ocaña also retains similar access to exploitation through his post. On the other hand, Luis Tosar’s Francisco Escámez mirrors the sense of control that Roca showcases in the actual Mayala case. Thus, either as a coincidence or an intentional reference, Roca presents a point of realistic relatability for José and Francisco.

Juan Antonio Roca Was Released From Prison

During the Malaya case, as corrupt officials were being unmasked, Juan Antonio Roca received a prison sentence alongside a fine worth millions of euros. He was convicted on the charges of money laundering, bribery, fraud, and more and saw imprisonment in 2006. He was also widely recognized as the mastermind behind the illegal activities of the 1990s-2000s that centered around property ventures.

Juan Antonio Roca//Image Credit: laSexta Noticias/YouTube

Furthermore, aside from the Malaya case, Roca also collected other prison sentences for corruption-related charges. However, after his conviction in the Malaya case, the charges were merged in 2016 to comply with the legal maximum period behind bars. Nonetheless, as per news records, the man was conditionally released from prison in 2018 after serving around twelve years of time.

Still, Roca is under continued satellite surveillance through an electronic tag. Additionally, his work with Cáritas, a Catholic charity in Malaga— while in prison— added to his positive involvement in civil responsibility. Some news outlets report that Roca is currently living in one of his luxury apartments, “La Casa de Poseidón,” alongside his wife, Rosa Jimeno. However, no additional information is available to the public regarding his current whereabouts.

Read More: Who Ratted Out Ivan in The Courier?