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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Police raided the offices of the Diaz-Bastien & Truan law firm in Marbella and Madrid and took possession of 30,000 documents.

Marbella court to handle Goldfinger probe

A COURT in Marbella will look into companies linked to Scottish actor Sean Connery in the ‘Goldfinger’ case.

Malaga Provincial Court has confirmed that Malibu SA and By the Sea can be investigated by the Marbella court and the investigation does not have to be carried out by a Madrid court.

Operation Goldfinger investigations focused on the sale of the Marbella villa owned by Connery and his wife Michelle Roquebrune, both of whom have been charged, and the subsequent construction of 70 apartments.

The case was opened in 2007 by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, and focused on three agreements, one signed in 2000 by the former mayor of Marbella, charged in the Malaya corruption case, Julian Muñoz, and the Malibu society, which owned Connery’s villa.

The lawyers Diaz-Bastien & Truan, who handled Connery’s business while he lived in Spain, are said to have negotiated the reclassification of the land with the late Jesus Gil and former urban planning councillor Juan Antonio Roca, also charged in the Malaya case.

Police raided the offices of the Diaz-Bastien & Truan law firm in Marbella and Madrid and took possession of 30,000 documents.

MarbellaTown Hall lost an estimated €2.7 million through these operations. It is estimated by the Tax Agency that the whole operation produced €53 million in benefits for the 20 people involved in the alleged crime network.

Connery and his wife were ordered to appear in court to give evidence, but he claimed his health prevented him from attending from his Caribbean home. They lived in Puerto Banus from the 70’s until the late 90’s in the beachside mansion called Malibu.  They sold the property in 1998 and luxury flats were built on the land. The flats currently cost between €1.4 and €2.2 million. 

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BRIT FUGITIVES ARRESTED IN SPAIN

Following information that two people had fled to Spain who were wanted in connection with cultivating cannabis, a European arrest warrant was issued for their detention.

The two, a 47-year-old man and a 48-year-old woman, from Whitstable, were arrested in the Malaga area, and are now awaiting extradition. They will appear in court in Madrid in connection with the production and supply of cannabis.

The arrests are connected to ongoing inquiries into three cannabis factories found in Whitstable, Wooton and Dover where cannabis worth an estimated £2m was cultivated

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National police officer has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for stealing drugs from Sevilla Provincial Police Station in between 2006 and 2008.

The officer was a member of the Drugs and Organised Crime Unit (Udyco), and with the help of another man and their respective partners, they stole more than 150 kilos of cocaine and heroin, then hid the money they had made from selling them.

One of the women made small packages which they swapped for the stolen drugs so no-one would notice they were gone.

Following that, they bought luxury goods, including a 12-metre yacht in 2009 which had been seized from drug smugglers and auctioned by the police.

His partner has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, his wife to two-and-a-half years in prison and his partner’s wife to six years in prison.

They will also have to pay fines amounting to €15 million and will be embargoed to ensure payment. 

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Philip Baron appeared to a successful property developer and hotelier

A flamboyant multi-millionaire funded a life of champagne, horses and high society dinners by running Britain's biggest ever drug rackets.

Philip Baron appeared to a successful property developer and hotelier who lived in a luxury mansion and was a regular player at one of the world's most prestigious Ryder Cup golf courses.

He stayed in luxury hotels while meeting with Columbia's most feared drugs cartels.

With the profits his crimes Baron bought a £1m detached gated home with a paddock in a sleepy picturesque village in the Republic of Ireland plus a luxury villa in Spain and a string of other properties.

He also splashed out on a £86,000 Bentley GT Continental, enrolled two of his children in boarding schools and bought them both horses.

Baron also became respected figure in the county set of Co Kildare joining the £5,000-a-year exclusive K Club where the Arnold Palmer designed course has hosted Ryder Cup golf tournaments and which was next door to his five-bedroom home.

Baron became a regular at charity black tie dinners and was happy to pose for photographs in the back of a limousine sipping champagne in his dinner suit alongside his buxom blonde haired second wife.

He became known as '4x' because of his love of Range Rovers and also 'Butlins' because of his Spanish holiday property portfolio. He regularly attended England football internationals and went to see Ashes test matches. His youngest daughter joined a modelling agency in London.




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COSTA DRUGS BARON,Run by expat Britons, the network smuggled at least 110 tonnes of drugs estimated to be worth £350m over 15 years.

Philip Baron owed his conspicuous wealth to the improbable success of what he said was his company renting deck chairs on Spanish beaches.

The would-be beach-ware magnate, whose vast detached home backed on to one of Ireland’s premier golf courses, did indeed have a hugely lucrative income from a business enterprise based in the Costa del Sol. But it had nothing to do with deck chairs.

Instead, he was a kingpin in one of Britain’s most prolific drug smuggling networks, masterminding the transportation of vast consignments of cannabis and cocaine from Spain to the UK. He used the multi-million pound proceeds to fund a lavish lifestyle far beyond, he believed, the reach of the law.

Today justice finally caught up with the 57-year-old Mancunian when he pleaded guilty at Liverpool Crown Court to charges of conspiring to import 60 tonnes of cocaine, many tonnes of cannabis and money laundering. He will be sentenced in June.

The father-of-three, who used a reconciliation with his estranged daughter to pull her into his smuggling and money-laundering cartel, is the final suspect to be convicted following a five-year investigation by the Serious and Organised Crime Agency (Soca) which its officers say has “completely dismantled” one of Britain’s top 10 drugs rings.

Run by expat Britons, the network smuggled at least 110 tonnes of drugs estimated to be worth £350m over 15 years. Operation Beath, the Soca investigation, has resulted in the conviction of 29 people and jail sentences totalling 200 years.

Steve Baldwin, Soca’s head of investigations, said: “There’s no doubt Baron and his associates were operating at the top end of organised crime. He lived a lavish lifestyle abroad, portraying himself as a legitimate businessman, while orchestrating the importation of huge amounts of drugs into the UK.

“There is clear evidence that his criminal activity was having a direct impact on communities in many of our towns and cities. Baron thought he was untouchable.”

The inquiry, which involved police forces from Costa Rica to the Irish Gardai, has yielded a rare insight into the workings of a smuggling network – from the code and nicknames used by the drug barons to their overseas trust funds and their extravagant spending habits.

Along with his co-conspirators, Baron, known as “4x” or “four by” because of his liking for SUVs, had hit upon a novel way of bringing their illegal product into Britain.

Rather than going to the trouble of hiding drugs in suitcases, the network decided to use the services of freight and courier companies to send consignments to 12 addresses across Britain rented from office services companies.

At the rate of at least one delivery per month, drugs were packed into boxes and labelled as technical manuals or printed material sent to unconnected and legitimate UK companies. Once they had arrived, another member of the gang would collect the consignment and distribute it to dealers in cities including Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

Suspicions were raised about gang members as far back as in 2008 when staff at a Cheltenham office services company became suspicious about the quantity of packages coming through its premises and alerted police. Soca began the long process of tracing the network back to Baron and another drug lord, Walter Callinan – like Baron a former lorry driver – who had moved from Stoke to a sprawling villa in Malaga.

Mark, the Soca officer who led the investigation, said the men fed supplies into their own network as well as supplying other outlets in Britain’s £5bn drugs market.

Baron, originally from Bolton, maintained the façade of a respectable businessman, driving a Bentley GT Continental and attending black-tie dinners. His two children by his second marriage were provided for with trust funds set up by the network’s money launderer in locations from Switzerland to Uzbekistan.

Neither of these children nor his current wife were involved with the drug business. But Baron did not extend the same courtesy to his third child, Rachael, who was contacted by her father for the first time in many years after the birth of her first child about six years ago.

Within weeks, Baron had enticed his estranged daughter into his network, using her to make purchases on his credit card, ranging from paying his phone bill to spending £60,000 on watches during a single visit to a jeweller’s. Rachael, who was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment for laundering £1m of drugs money, also arranged the purchase of her father’s Bentley.

As the funds started to pour into the bank accounts of the network’s members, a sense of invincibility infected the main players. Baron, who was arrested in 2011, spent nearly two years fighting extradition to Britain, taking his case all the way to Ireland’s Supreme Court.

Mark added: “They hammered the UK’s streets with drugs in the belief that they could live a life of impunity from abroad.”

Ironically, it was the habit of Callinan and the network’s principal money launderer – a former Barclay’s IT worker, Malcolm “Sir Humphrey” Carle – of keeping meticulous records that led to their downfall.

When police raided Callinan’s villa they found a 200-page ledger detailing every transaction for 17 tonnes of cannabis sent to Britain over a 17-month period. The shipments accounted for 6 per cent of all cannabis sent to the UK in that time.

One-by-one the gang members were picked off by the investigation until Baron and Callinan, who was sentenced to 11 years’ imprisonment in 2011, were among the few major players left. Shortly after his arrest, Callinan phoned his son in a phone call which Soca investigators admitted they had found “enjoyable”.

The drugs overlord said: “There is documentation, spreadsheets of monies collected off motorways... 100 grand, 60 grand, 80 grand. We’re f***ed mate, they’ve got that much documentation. F***ing hell, the Pope wouldn’t get out of this.”

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Sunday, 10 March 2013

A criminal gang in Spain apparently took the bodies of dogs and other animals from animal sanctuaries, vets, zoos and farms, which should have been incinerated, and then processed them to create protein and fats that could be sold on.

The authorities in Spain have not ruled out the possibility that protein or fats from the carcasses may even have been used in some processed human food.

Britain’s Food Standards Agency says it is aware of the investigation and it is liaising with its counterparts in Spain.

Gangs: Criminals apparently stole the bodies of dogs from animal sanctuaries and processed them to create proteins

Stolen: Gangs apparently took dogs from animal sanctuaries and processed them for sale (file picture)

Food chain: Stray dogs taken from the Spanish streets may have ended up in pet food (file picture)

Food chain: Stray dogs taken from Spain may have ended up in pet food or farm animal feed (file picture)

A spokesman said: ‘We are aware of these reports and are in contact with the Spanish authorities about their investigation.

‘We are currently not testing food for meat from dogs. Our priority is to test beef products for gross contamination with horse meat because that is where the problem clearly is.’

 

 

Evidence has been found at warehouses and processing plants in Galicia and Salamanca.

Last year, police found a warehouse filled with 15 tons of dead stray dogs which they believe were going to be processed into animal feed, in the Galician town of As Neves.

Similar grisly discoveries have been found in warehouses elsewhere in the north of Spain.

Seprona, the environmental arm of the Guardia Civil, has sent dozens of samples of commercial pet food to the Anfaco-Cecopesca laboratories in Vigo, Galicia, after a judge received reports from an industry whistle-blower.

According to laboratory tests performed in one of the processing plants based in the town of Aldeaseca de la Frontera, in Salamanca, fat samples destined for animal feed had DNA traces of both sheep and dog.

Cannibalism: Spanish authorities have sent dozens of pet food samples for testing after a judge was given reports by a whistleblower.

Cannibalism: Spanish authorities have sent pet food samples for testing after reports from a whistleblower. Tests have already shown fat samples to be used in animal feed had traces of both sheep and dog

A major police investigation has been underway since March 2012, according to a report in Spain’s El Mundo newspaper.

The pressure group Viva, which campaigns against meat eating, is writing to UK supermarkets to ask them to test their food for the presence of dog and other species.

Its campaigns manager, Justin Kerswell, said: ‘It is a horrifying possibility that dog and rat meat might have entered the human food chain, but given the depth of ineptitude shown and the EU-wide fraud the horse meat scandal has exposed, it seems entirely plausible.

‘It may only be a matter of time before dog, rat and perhaps even cat meat is found in British processed food or farmed animal feed.

‘British supermarkets have been selling horse meat to consumers for years without knowing it, so what else has been on sale? They will have no idea unless they specifically test for it.’

Scottish Labour MEP, Alyn Smith, said: ‘These revelations from Spain indicate just where I fear this may be going.  By the time meat becomes "protein" then traceability all but breaks down, especially in the pet and animal feed markets.

‘I'm concerned that given the EU-wide pet food market this contamination could be considerably more widespread.

‘The spectre of forced cannibalism turns this issue into something considerably more serious, and we need reassurance that this is an isolated incident of criminality, albeit it would seem on a pretty significant scale given the reported sourcing of 15 tonnes of dogs must take some organisation.’



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Saturday, 2 March 2013

Spanish police arrest 33 suspected street gang members

Spanish police have detained 33 youths, including 13 minors, in Madrid suspected of belonging to two different Latin American street gangs, they said Tuesday.

Police detained 22 suspected members of a gang called Blood, which has its origins in the United States and which up until very recently was hardly active in Spain, a police statement said.

The group included the alleged leader of the gang.

They also arrested 11 suspected members of another gang called Dominican Don't Play who allegedly took part in the beating of a minor leaving him with serious injuries to his legs and one arm, the statement added.

"With these operations, investigators have given a significant blow against Latino gangs operating in the Spanish capital," the statement said.

Police seized machetes, knives, screwdrivers and baseball bats embedded with dozens of nails during searches of the suspects' homes.

"The Blood were born in the United States in the 1970s. They started by imitating other Latino bands that existed there like the Latin Kings or the Netas and then they came to Spain," a police spokesman said.

The suspects include Bolivian, Colombians, Ecuadorian, Spanish and Dominican nationals, the spokesman added.

They are suspected of armed robbery, making threats and membership in a criminal group.

Last week police detained around 30 youths in Barcelona in an operation against a gang called the Black Dominican Panthers which specialised in drug trafficking.

Latin American gangs emerged in the United States decades ago. They have gained ground in Spain over the past decade due to a sharp rise in immigration from Latin America.

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"El Monstro" - the monster - was wanted on an international arrest warrant for other murders in his home country.

Police moved in on the group last week as they received delivery of a cache of weapons originating in eastern Europe that included several Kalashnikov rifles fitted with silencers, a 357 magnum revolver, two shotguns and a long-range rifle with telescopic lens.

During the raid officers also seized electronic detonators, explosives and an anti-tank grenade launcher, as the gang received delivery of an arms shipment transported in a hired transit van.

Investigators believe the squad were sent to Spain to collect debts and settle scores on behalf of Colombian drug cartels while also trying to forge an alliance with Mexican traffickers based in Spain's eastern city of Valencia.

It was the first time police had smashed a squad apparently sent to set up a permanent base in Spain, said Andres Dieguez, head of the Spain's Central Organised Crime Brigade.

Previously individual hit men had been sent over from Colombia to settle scores and protect their business in Spain, the main cocaine gateway into Europe, before returning to South America.

The gang were also in possession of containers of acid, which they are suspected of using to decompose the bodies of their victims and to ensure their identification would be difficult.

Among those arrested were the suspected leader of the cell, who went by the alias "Conejo" meaning rabbit and his right hand man "El Monstro", police said. They have not released the real names of those arrested.

The first was wanted by Colombian police and was involved in a feud with a rival gang of assassins in Colombia, believed to be responsible for carrying out a hit on his brother six months ago and his nephew earlier this month.

"El Monstro" - the monster - was wanted on an international arrest warrant for other murders in his home country.

According to local media reports some members of the gang were former members of the paramilitary group, United Self-Defence Forces of Colombia (AUC).

The gang is also suspected of touting for work from other crime organizations for which they offered to kidnap, maim or kill, in return for 50 per cent of the money owed by their target.

Among their targets was the sister of a drug felon jailed in Spain who had outstanding debts to a cartel in Colombia. They were ordered to kidnap the woman until the convict could arrange payment of what he owed.

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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Spanish police arrested 10 other people — six Russians, two Ukrainians and two Georgians — along the Costa del Sol,

The Russian head of the crime network was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, in December. This month, the Spanish police arrested 10 other people — six Russians, two Ukrainians and two Georgians — along the Costa del Sol, a popular vacation destination in southernSpain, where the criminals are believed to have had their main base of operations.

The search continues, however, for other possible cells operated by the criminal network outside of Europe, investigators said.

The criminal threat, essentially a form of online extortion called ransomware, relied on malware that authorities believe was developed by the Russian-led gang. It locked a user’s computer, and send a message in the form of a fake police warning, demanding 100 euros ($134) to unlock it.

“This is the first major success of its kind against a very new phenomenon that we have only identified in the last two years,” Rob Wainwright, the director of Europol, said at a news conference at the Interior Ministry in Madrid. “This is a mass marketing scam to distribute this thousands of times and rely on the fact that even if only 2 percent fall victim to the scam, it is still a very good pickup rate.”

Mr. Wainwright estimated that 3 percent of those victimized had paid the fake fines. Europol did not give an overall estimate of how much money the criminals might have gained, but in Spain alone they are believed to have collected more than 1 million euros ($1.3 million), said Francisco Martínez, Spain’s secretary of state for security.

Computer security experts in the United States recently estimated that computer criminals make more than $5 million a year on ransomware, though many say that is too conservative.

Investigators suggested on Wednesday that the software used by the criminals could also be aimed at online users who were actually likely to have made unlawful use of the Internet, by picking up key words linked to illegal activities like child pornography or illicit file swapping. That would make the threat of a fine for abusive use of the Web more believable for the user.

Mr. Wainwright emphasized the complexity of the software, with as many as 48 mutations of the virus detected.

“It used the idiom and logo of each specific police service,” he said. “Even Europol and my own name have been used to defraud citizens.”

In most cases of ransomware, victims do not regain access to their computer unless they hire a technician to remove the virus manually. In Spain, after thousands of complaints, the Interior Ministry set up a Web site to help users uninstall the virus. The Web site received about 750,000 visits last year.

The Spanish police received 1,200 official complaints about the virus since it was first detected in Spain in May 2011.

“What is clear is that the organization had a very well-structured and complex infrastructure developed from Russia,” said José Rodríguez, a chief inspector in Spain who handled the investigation.

But he said that it also allowed them to “keep track of victims in Spain, Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere” from their base in southern Spain. “These people could have operated from anywhere but somehow found it more convenient to do so from Spain,” Mr. Rodríguez said.

The Spanish police said six of the 10 people arrested this month had already been detained, charged with money laundering, fraud and involvement in a criminal organization. The four others remain under investigation. Europol offered no details on the Russian who was suspected of leading of the gang who was arrested in December.

The Spanish police also seized several computers and more than 200 credit cards. They said the suspects also had 26,000 euros ($35,000) in cash, which they were planning to transfer to Russia on the day of their arrest.

Europol and other police agencies are still trying to determine just how much money the criminals gained and what it was used for. The gang laundered the money in Spain and elsewhere and sent it to Russia via electronic payments.

Europol started its investigation in December 2011 from its operational center in The Hague, after six countries reported more than 20,000 victims of the virus. While the virus generally came with a police warning, the gang is believed to have used different versions to deceive more users, including one fraudulent message that was designed to look as if it had been sent by the Spanish association that defends artists’ copyrights.

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Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Spanish police arrested 80 people in raids on Chinese mobsters and accomplices, including a Spanish porn star, suspected of illegally laundering hundreds of thousands of euros

Spanish police arrested 80 people in raids on Chinese mobsters and accomplices, including a Spanish porn star, suspected of illegally laundering hundreds of thousands of euros, authorities said Tuesday.

Police in "Operation Emperor" also seized six million euros ($7.8 million) in cash in hundreds of raids across the country, junior security minister Ignacio Ulloa told reporters.

Top anti-corruption prosecutor Antonio Salinas said the network laundered between 200,000 and 300,000 euros a year, dodging taxes, bribing officials and forging documents.

He said the racket was made up of traders who sold contraband goods in Spain, laundered the money and transferred it to China.

"It is a criminal organisation led by Chinese people who laundered money," Salinas said.

"They import all kinds of merchandise which dodges the Spanish authorities and is distributed throughout our territory, and they send the money illegally earned to China," paying bribes and forging documents on the way, he said.

He added that police also seized 200 vehicles during the searches and froze the bank accounts of more than 120 people.

The interior ministry said in a statement it was a "major operation against money-laundering and other crimes linked to criminal networks of Chinese origin in various provinces of Spain".

The National Court, which ran a two-year investigation leading to the raids, said the gang also channelled money from rackets involving prostitution and extortion to tax havens with the help of Spanish and Israeli intermediaries.

The network also smuggled cash bound for China by train and car and used front companies such as karaoke bars and restaurants, said a court official who asked not to be named.

Among those arrested was Nacho Vidal, an international porn star credited in titles such as "Sexcapades" and "Nacho Vidal: The Sexual Messiah 2".

He ran a company suspected of taking part in the money-laundering, said the court official.

The Internet Movie Database describes Vidal as "one of the most popular and hard-working men on the hardcore scene".

The court official named another of those arrested as Jose Borras, a local councillor in Fuenlabrada, southern Madrid. The district is home to the Cobo Calleja trading estate, considered the biggest Chinese wholesale hub in Europe.

Apart from those two Spaniards and a handful of others, most of those arrested were Chinese, the court said.

Spanish media published images of police carrying out searches among the vast warehouses of Chinese businesses in Cobo Calleja.

It is known as a source of cheap goods imported from China, selling shoes, clothes, jewellery and other wholesale goods to Spanish businesses as well as distributing them across Europe.

The court source said Cobo Calleja was the "nucleus" of the money-laundering network.

The investigation leading to Tuesday's arrests was the Spanish courts' biggest money-laundering crackdown yet, it said.

The town hall in Fuenlabrada has said that Chinese firms in the industrial zone officially do some 870 million euros ($1.1 billion) in trade a year. Of the 800 businesses there, it said 377 were Chinese-run, employing 3,000 of the total 10,000 people working in the area.

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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Marseilles: 20 murders in nine months

Police in the southern French city of Marseilles are investigating the 20th murder there in the past nine months. They blame the upsurge in violence on drug gangs and the availability of military style weapons.

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The Spanish Guardia Civil is to have direct access to EUROPOL

The Spanish Guardia Civil is to have direct access to EUROPOL information for the first time. Until now the Civil Guard has to go through the Europol National Union. The direct contacts will allow more rationalisation and will increase the effectiveness in the exchange of information, which could crucial in investigations. The Europol offices are in The Hague in Holland and concentrate much of its time in the fight against organised crime and terrorism.

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Prison rules prohibit the use of mobile phones by inmates, but over the last year in the Alhaurín de la Torre Jail in Málaga

Prison rules prohibit the use of mobile phones by inmates, but over the last year in the Alhaurín de la Torre Jail in Málaga, the inmates have been finding phones. The workers in the jail say the frequency inhibitors do not work properly and they cannot be repaired because of a lack of money. The man responsible for the CCOO union in prisons, Juan Carlos Blanco, warned on Wednesday that could cause a grand security problem not only for jail, but across the country as well. ‘There are prohibited mobile phones in the possession of the inmates which are often used for drug trafficking operations, or mafia clan bosses can directed their business from the jail'. The Prison Authority has said when the civil servants have recovered 30 mobile phones in one day. The CCOO union says that an excuse of no funds is not enough because for full security the frequency inhibitors should work properly.

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Málaga has seen one the largest increases in crime in Spain.

Only the Baleares has seen a greater rise in delinquency than the Costa del Sol. A review from the General State Prosecutor’s Office said there was a great deal of organised crime when compared to places like Jaén or Melilla. The statement continued: ‘In the province of Málaga the organised crime manifests itself in economic crimes such as robberies and assaults on businesses or homes, drug trafficking, prostitution, massive frauds and certain cases of administrative corruption’. ‘The presence of a high number of foreign residents, which in some occasions have a greater population than the Spanish, the diversion of homes in urbanisations along the coast, and the opportunity to make money from real estate’ are some of the factors why, according to statement from the Fiscalia, ‘Málaga is an ideal place for the refuge of persons linked to criminal activity’. The Costa del Sol is the main entry point in Spain and Europe for hashish.

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26 year old tourist from Bolton has died after a hit and run in Benalmádena Costa

26 year old tourist from Bolton has died after a hit and run in Benalmádena Costa just before 5am on Friday. He was on the Costa del Sol for a short holiday with 3 friends. The accident took place on the avenida Antonio Machado. Just before 5am, a local Benalmádena police car was on patrol in the Costa district, along the old N-340, when they saw a body on the pavement about 500m away from the Plaza de Solymar. The police checked the body and saw he was dead. He is thought to have died instantly with his body showing several injuries which indicated that he had been run over by a vehicle. Police say he also seems to have hit a balustrade which runs along that section of road. The alleged driver of the car was arrested an hour later by the National Police and will go before the court today, Saturday, charged with negligent homicide and failing in the obligation to help. The case was solved quickly thanks to good cooperation in the police. Messages were sent to all the police in the area to be on the lookout for a damaged vehicle and an hour after the accident a patrol in Torremolinos reported a damaged vehicle. An arrest of a 26 year old Spaniard was made. Although the British man was carrying no identification at the time of the accident, the police investigation discovered that the 26 year old from Bolton was on holiday with three friends.

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Body of woman found in the boot of a burnt out car in Granada

The body of a woman, thought to be young, has been found in the boot of a burnt out car in Granada. The National Police are investigating how the car got to the Camino de las Vacas in Granada. They were called out to the site last (Thursday) night, along with the Local Police and the Fire Service. First indications are that the woman did not die from the flames because the back of the vehicle was not affected.

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Sunday, 16 September 2012

Valencia is to fine clients of prostitutes in the street

The new measure is to come into force next month.The councillor for citizens safety and civil protection in Valencia City Hall. Miguel Domínguez, has said that the legislation will arrive next month if the opposition likes it or not. Domínguez made the declaration in a press conference held after a meeting with the Junta Local of Protección Civil. He said he was putting the final touches to the legislation. He justified the measure claiming it would put more local police on the streets. It follows similar measures in Barcelona. The Valencia council also wants to get the guerrillas off the streets. These are people who say that they will look after your car, usually for a Euro.

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Police find a British man who had been held hostage in a flat in Manilva for five days

The National Police have liberated a British citizen who has been held in a flat in Manilva for five days. The object of the kidnapping was to collect a debt resulting from drug trafficking, and the Briton was also wanted for money laundering offences and illicit association. The operation has resulted in the arrest of the three kidnappers, two from the United Kingdom and the third from Ireland. It was carried out by agents of the first group of GRECO, the group which responds to organised crime on the Costa del sol, and Group 44 of the Central Brigade against drug trafficking. Both groups are part of the unit against drugs and organised crime UDYCO from the Judicial Police. Information about the hostage was obtained in Puerto Banús on August 30. The National Police say the kidnappers met with the victim by chance, taking him ‘violently’. After investigation the police established the organisation had a secure flat in Manilva noting that it was always guarded by members of the group. The raid on the flat was organised by the GEOS Special Operations Group from Málaga and Sevilla, allowing for the arrest of two kidnappers and the release of the kidnapped man. He was found prostrated on the bed in the back room tied down by this feet and hands with adhesive tape. He also showed signs of being hit repeatedly with a blunt object. Police found a baseball bat, a handgun, and an electric pistol. After identifying the individual it was discovered that he was wanted in Spain for money laundering and illicit association, and that the authorities in Britain were planning to issue a detention order. During the five days he was held, nobody denounced a missing person.

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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Police have several leads in the investigation of the large forest fire that started a week ago.

Suspicions that it was started malicously has possibly strengthened. Sources claim that the fire spread quickly because there was more than one fire. Witnesses stated inter alia, have seen an unidentified jeep coming from a farm between Ojén and Marbella exactly where the fire then got an awesome course. In Marbella, it was announced yesterday that it is now able to restore electricity, water and telephone networks in all affected areas. It is now under the companies just the kind of disruption that is "normal". In areas Elviria Ricmar has repaired water pipes, power lines and 3000 meters telephone and fiber optic cable. It has also been launched several campaigns to restore nature and conduct tree plantings. Biologists say that tree planting may be necessary until next year. The hotel chain Fuerte Hoteles has among other things promised to donate a tree for every hotel guest you have in Marbella. The hotels have also started a fundraiser where guests can help by buying a tree, which will then be planted in the affected area.

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Sunday, 2 September 2012

Marbella Forest Fire

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Saturday, 1 September 2012

Major wildfire in Malaga leaves elderly Briton dead and his wife missing

One person was confirmed dead and another missing on Friday night after a major wildfire Affected Municipalities of the Coin, Alhaurin el Grande, Mijas, Marbella and Ojén, in Málaga province. The victim is a British man aged 78 was found Whose charred body in the area of ​​Las Blanquillas, inside the city limits of Ojén. His wife has not yet been found. Meanwhile, a couple in late fifties was taken Their hospital with burns to 60 percent to of Their Bodies. Both lived in a detached home inside the Marbella residential estate of El Rosario. A mother and her two children were found hiding inside a cave in Ojén and taken to hospital to be Treated for smoke inhalation. Five other people Were Also Evacuated from Their Homes. The fire was Extending to the Sierra de las Nieves even as the chief of the firefighting department Málaga, Manuel Marmolejo, Announced That a new front had opened up and Reached the area of ​​Juanar, where two hotels had to be Evacuated. Marmolejo said Extending the wildfire was with "great virulence." The blaze Began around 6.50pm on Thursday and soon extended to a perimeter of Between 50 and 60 kilometers, said Marmolejo. An Estimated 1.000 hectares of land Have Been Affected.

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Friday, 31 August 2012

Marbella eight urbanisations has been evacuated. 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

The village of Ojen and eight urbanisations in Marbella have been evacuated. 4,000 people have been evacuated from their homes.

 

The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon and has affected Coín where some 60 homes have had to be evacuated. The fire was still burning overnight so the terrestrial fire fighters continued to work overnight, according to the fire fighting Infoca.
The extinction of the blaze was complicated by the strong hot wind known locally as the ‘Terral’.
Three of the four fronts were brought under control just after midnight.

The fire is also affecting Alhaurín El Grande and Mijas where homes have been evacuated in the Entrerrios area, according to the Junta de Andalucía.

The Barranco Blanco urbanisation in Coín is close to the fire, and there were fears that non-forestry zones could be affected.

In Calahonda there are flames in the urbanisation between Calle Cristóbal Colón and Residential Princess Park. The upper zone of Calahonda is being evacuated.

Two people have been seriously injured with burns. They were in the urbanisation El Rosario where five homes have been affected by the flames. The two injured were taken to the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella a 4.30am this morning. One of them has burns to 50% of their body.

The AP-7 Motorway was for a time overnight for a while.

The Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has confirmed that several urbanisations have been evacuated, including La Mairena, Elviria, the area of Las Chapas and Molinillo where the fire is concentrated and continues to advance.

The Hotel La Cala Resort has also been evacuated of its 200 guests.

Those evacuated have been told to go to the sports centre in La Cala, the sports centre in Las Lagunas or the Mijas Hippodrome.

Between 25 and 30 families have been evacuated from Alpujata on the outskirts of Monda.

13 airborne fire fighting planes were brought in on Thursday afternoon from Málaga, Córdoba and Granada, and they have resumed their work at first light.

Land forces totalled 99 fire fighters distributed in seven brigades, three reserve brigades, five fire engines, five operation technicians and four environmental vehicles.

The fire continues out of control on one front and the Mijas Town Hall has told the residents of la Atalaya to urgently leave their homes. A level 1 has been put in place and that indicates that the prevision for the fire could affect non-forestry assets.

350 firefighters are at the scene this morning and the fire fighting planes have returned to work.

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Numerous homes have been burnt out and others seriously affected in Ojén and Marbella. The urbanisation La Mairena has flames affecting several properties.



The situation is particularly difficult in the upper part of Calahonda where residents have been evacuated and there are flames in the urbanisation between Calle Cristóbal Colón and the residential complex Princess Park.

Some 3,000 residents of El Rosario in Marbella have been evacuated, and German couple in their 60’s have been seriously hurt. Marbella Ayuntamiento says they were surprised by the flames and now have burns 40-50% of their bodies. 

Those affected by the blaze are being first treated in the Costa del Sol Hospital in Marbella, and then many suffering burns are being transferred to Málaga to the Specialist Burns Unit in the Carlos Haya Hospital.

People have been sleeping in sports centre in Monda and Marbella and municipal buses have been laid on as transport.

The Junta delegate in Málaga, José Luis Ruiz Espejo, has said today that he suspects the fire could have been started deliberately given its rapid propagation. He said the technicians suspected the fire was man made from the start.

Ground fire fighters worked through the night facing difficult terrain and totalled 99 fire fighters distributed in seven brigades, and three reserve brigades, five fire engines, five operation technicians and four environmental vehicles.

At first light this morning the 17 fire-fighting planes returned to the air.
Five planes which drop earth, four large capacity helicopters, five transport helicopters, two amphibian planes, and a plane for coordination and vigilance.

More than 250 professionals from fire fighting organisation INFOCA are working this morning in Mijas, Marbella, Alhauin de la Torre and in Coín where the fire started.

The Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has confirmed that several urbanisations have been evacuated, including La Mairena, Elviria, the area of Las Chapas and Molinillo where the fire is concentrated and continues to advance.
Between 25 and 30 families have been evacuated from Alpujata on the outskirts of Monda.

The fire broke out on Thursday afternoon and has affected Coín where some 60 homes have had to be evacuated. The fire was still burning overnight as so the terrestrial fire fighters continued to work over night, according to the fire fighting Infoca.
The extinction of the blaze is being complicated by the strong hot wind known locally as the ‘Terral’.

Three of the four fronts were brought under control just after midnight.

The fire is also affecting Alhaurín El Grande and Mijas where homes have been evacuated in the Entrerrios area, according to the Junta de Andalucía.
The Barranco Blanco urbanisation in Coín is close to the fire, and there were fears that non-forestry zones could be affected.
The Hotel La Cala Resort has also been evacuated of its 200 guests.

Those evacuated have been told to go to the sports centre in La Cala, the sports centre in Las Lagunas or the Mijas Hippodrome.
13 airborne fire fighting planes were brought in on Thursday afternoon from Málaga, Córdoba and Granada, and they resumed their work at first light this morning.

The fire continues out of control and the Mijas Town Hall has told the residents of la Atalaya to urgently leave their homes. A level 1 has been put in place and that indicates that the prevision for the fire could affect non-forestry assets.

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A huge wildfire is approaching the wealthy resort of Marbella on Spain's Costa del Sol, where the authorities have evacuated thousands of people.

Flames reached the Elviria area on the edge of Marbella early on Friday.

About 1,000 people have been evacuated from the edge of Marbella, about 3,300 from Ojen and others from a camp site at Alpujata, Spanish media report.

They include at least 300 British expats sent to evacuation centres, the UK embassy told the BBC.

Marbella is famous for its up-market hotels and villas - it is a favourite haunt of wealthy foreigners.

Overnight the fire spread rapidly through a 12km (eight-mile) coastal strip, not far from holiday resorts.

Two people have suffered serious burns and some homes have been engulfed by the fire.

The Costa del Sol is one of Spain's most popular holiday destinations and home to a large British expatriate community.

The British embassy says it is working closely with the Spanish authorities and consular staff have been deployed to assist those affected.

Spain Costa del Sol map

Much of Spain's countryside was left tinder-dry this summer by a prolonged heatwave. There have been major wildfires in northern Catalonia - near the Pyrenees - and on La Gomera, in the Canary Islands.

The wind speed has dropped since Thursday and the air is more humid, so there are hopes that the Costa del Sol blaze can be contained soon.

More than 250 firefighters are battling the fire, helped by 17 aircraft dropping water to douse it, Spain's El Pais news website says.

The fire started on Thursday afternoon in the Sierra Negra area of Coin, near Malaga and has now affected an area of some 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres).

Part of the AP-7 highway was cut temporarily, but other roads are unaffected. It is not yet clear how many homes have been damaged or destroyed.

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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

THE brother of Ireland’s so-called ‘unluckiest criminal’ has been shot in a bar in Torremolinos.

 

 


 

 

 

 

Dubliner Michael Joseph O’Driscoll, who was on holiday with his girlfriend on the Costa del Sol, was singled out by a balaclava-wearing gunman who fired one shot and ran out of the bar.

 

The 28-year-old victim, who has been described as a low-ranking member of a criminal gang, was taken to hospital but his injuries were not life-threatening.

 

Meanwhile Spanish police are now liaising with police in Ireland to try to establish a motive for the attack.

 

One theory is that Irish criminals found out O’Driscoll was in Torremolinos and asked associates there to shoot him.

 

His brother Thomas, a 100-times repeat offender, was nicknamed Ireland’s unluckiest criminal after he was shot and paralysed in an attack at a north Dublin pub in 2006.

 

He later learned to walk again only to be knocked down by a car and end up back in a wheelchair.

 

He was jailed in August 2010 for stealing women’s blouses.

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Monday, 27 August 2012

SPANISH police have launched a major investigation after exiled drugs boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson returned to Ireland using an illegal passport.

BREACH: Freddie Thompson allegedly skipped bail to return to Ireland

 

BREACH: Freddie Thompson allegedly skipped bail to return to Ireland

The Sunday World can reveal that the 31-year-old slipped back into the country last week despite being legally required to remain in Spain while cops investigate him. Thompson was extradited to Spain last November for questioning about his role in Christy Kinihan's drug empire. He was released without charge pending further investigations by Spanish cops, on condition that he surrender his passport, stay in Spain and sign on at a police station twice a month.

However, last week Thompson breached his bail conditions by using one of three passports he has in different names to fly into Belfast airport from Malaga. He was picked up in Belfast by a close associate and driven to Dublin, wearing a wig to disguise his identity.

Criminal

Sources say that the criminal spent four days in Dublin and stayed with a friend of drug boss Greg Lynch in the Marylands area of Dublin 8. The safe house was just around the corner from his family home and he made his way to see his mother each day by climbing through back gardens, so he would not be seen on the streets.

Greg Lynch is regarded as being a key associate of Thompson and gardai believe he is in regular contact with him in Spain and is involved in the running of Freddie's drugs gang from Dublin. It is understood that his criminal cronies held a massive party for Freddie last weekend before he travelled back to Spain last Sunday and signed in with police in Estepona the following day.

Gardai only learned of Thompson's return on the day he departed and investigations have confirmed that he was illegally back in Ireland.

 

DRUG EMPIRE: Christy Kinihan

 

DRUG EMPIRE: Christy Kinihan

If the Spanish police can confirm that Fat Freddie did leave the country then he could be jailed while the investigation into his Kinihan links is completed. This could take another year, so Thompson is facing the possibility of a long stretch in a tough Spanish jail, which would be a massive blow to him.

 

A source said: "We have confirmed that Thompson was back and spent most of his time visiting his family and, more worryingly, his close gang associates, including Greg Lynch. He was staying with a close friend of Lynch's very near to his mother's house.

"We know he has three passports, but we didn't think he would be mad enough to come back."

Freddie has been living it up in Marbella, spending days working out in the gym and organising drug shipments, while hitting the town at night. He is regularly in the company of Irish criminals Gary Hutch and his cousin Liam Byrne and several gardai on holiday in Marbella have seen Thompson partying hard in the company of several women.

The father of one was extradited to Spain last November on foot of a European arrest warrant. He was questioned on suspicion of participating in a criminal organisation, the illegal transportation of drugs and the illicit trafficking of weapons.

However, despite the seriousness of the charges, the maximum sentence that the mobster is facing is just nine years in prison. The Spanish authorities did not provide any direct evidence to show Thompson is a key member of the Kinihan gang.

They claim he is a "trusted right-hand man" of Kinihan and acted as his bodyguard and chauffeur and was a senior player in the gang. They accuse him of drug and gun trafficking, but the only evidence they cite is a vague recorded conversation between Thompson and Gary Hutch about a gun not being as "big as expected".

Spanish cops say it is possible to "infer" from this that Freddie is responsible for sourcing the gang's firearms. Spanish police also say that they have recorded conversations that reveal Freddie travelled to Amsterdam to "weigh up the possibility of preparing a
large shipment of drugs which was to be picked up in Ireland".

However there is no physical evidence linking Freddie Thompson to any drugs.

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Spanish child kidnap inquiry takes grim turn as charred bones declared human

One of Spain's most horrific, long-running investigations took a grim new twist on Monday after two scientists separately confirmed that the mass of charred bones found in a homemade oven at a property owned by the grandparents of missing siblings José and Ruth Bretón belonged to a two-year-old and a six-year-old child. Ruth, six, and José, two, are thought to have been killed by their father, José Bretón, who claimed they had been kidnapped at a park in the southern city of Córdoba while he was looking after them last October. He was eventually arrested on suspicion of kidnapping and held in jail, but has continued to proclaim his innocence. Bretón's ex-wife, Ruth Ortiz, has insisted for months that he had either kidnapped or killed the children out of revenge for her leaving him. Spanish newspapers quoted police as describing Bretón's attitude under interrogation as "ice cold" and investigators have indicated they thought he had either killed his children or was paying someone to keep them at a secret address. Months of searching properties, draining local ponds and dragging rivers had failed to produce results. Bretón, a former soldier, had written to newspapers claiming he had been given information that would allow him to find the bodies if released. Police scientists originally said the bones in a furnace on a piece of land outside Córdoba owned by Bretón's parents belonged to animals. But the interior minister, Jorge Fernández Díaz, admitted that fresh reports on the bones now revealed they included human remains. The oven had been made by covering an open fire with a metal bell cover so that temperatures reached as high as 800C (1,472F), baking the mud underneath. "It is as if it was a cremation oven," Fernández Díaz said. José María Bermúdez de Castro, Spain's most celebrated paleoanthropologist and co-director of excavations at the Pliocene and Pleistocene-era Atapuerca cave site in northern Spain, has reportedly produced a report saying that the bones found in the oven include a six-year-old child's teeth. He had been called in to study the bones after the mother's family asked Francisco Etxeberria, a well-known forensic scientist who has dug up many mass graves left over from the Spanish civil war, to analyse them. He surprised police by concluding that the bones included those of both a two-year-child and of a six year old. "It is obvious there were human remains there," he told the newspaper El País. "They met a violent end." Bretón's lawyer said his client stood by the original police report stating that only animal bones were in the oven. Further tests on the remains are being carried out, though Etxeberria warned that the high temperatures in the oven made DNA testing impossible.

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OwnFone: A Custom-Printed Phone Perfect for Seniors and Kids

Some people need all the latest apps and features available on their smartphone so they can be connected 24/7, while others just want to make a phone call. For the connected crowd, read all the latest reviews onMashable. For the others, check out the OwnFone.

It’s designed to call only the people you want to reach most frequently. In fact, it can only hold 12 contacts. There are no keys or buttons to program. Instead you let OwnFone know who you want to add, and they program and send you a custom-printed phone, about the size of a credit card.

If you lose it, they just print you a new one. You do need to call OwnFone support if you need to change someone’s number, or add a contact.

 

OwnFone says it plans to come out with a phone that can be customized in braille in the near future. Right now OwnFone is only available in the UK.

Check out the video above for more details and let us know what you think of a printed, pre-programmed cell phone.

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Sunday, 26 August 2012

Estepona Wild Fires rage on a 2km front

Police and Ambulances hurried to evacuate as wild fires quickly spread our reporter on the scene photographer the devastation

 

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Estepona on Fire

We had a tiny little fire today, which they put out.

Then an hour later, it restarted, and spread along 2 Klm of the coast.

It was horrible seeing old people being run out of their homes, and carried through the smoke by police and ambulances.

The pictures really doesn,t do show bad it really was.many houses have gone

 

 

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Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Britons fall foul of holiday scams

Conmen and thieves are going to elaborate lengths to rob holidaying Britons abroad. Those taking breaks overseas have fallen foul of "the bus breakdown" where a driver pretends the vehicle has failed in the middle of nowhere and demands money from passengers to be collected by a second bus. In another scam, a taxi driver forces passengers to pay a fine for non-seatbelt wearing, with the money being passed to a "policeman" he is in league with, revealed Sainsbury's Travel Money. Britons have also been victims of "the beachcomber" who watches them on the beach then robs them when they go in for a swim. Some have also succumbed to the "note switch" con, where they offer a large note to taxi drivers or barmen who switch it to a small one and claim they are owed more money. A survey by Sainsbury's Travel Money of 2,014 adults showed that 7% of Britons who had travelled abroad in the past two years had been robbed, with the average value of money or possessions stolen being £414. Of those who had been robbed, 59% had loose cash taken while 23% had entire wallets or purses snatched. Other stolen items included credit or debit cards (14%), mobile phones (12%), cameras (10%), clothing (10%), iPods or similar devices (7%) and watches (6%). Thefts or cons were most likely to take place in hotel rooms or on public transport, with the next most popular spots for thieves being tourist attractions, busy streets and beaches.

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Monday, 13 August 2012

400 people have been arrested for the falsification of 19 million € of notes in three years.

 The 100 € notes were found by the National Police in one their recent operations.

The arrests come thanks to the coordination of the national forces with the regional police and international cooperation, resulting in an efficient persecution of the crime.
The National Police have a specialised unit against fake money, which has broken up 35 organisations in three years.

This latest operation ended with the arrest of ten people in the city of Plodiv in Bulgaria where 660 fake 100 € notes were found in conjunction with Europol and Eurojust.

In Spain operations have taken place in Murcia, and Gijón.
Over the past 3 years the security services have arrested 415 people, broken up 35 gangs, and dismantled 24 distribution centres in several operations. It’s thought the face value of the notes collected amounts to as much as 19 million €.

In the face of these high numbers the Director General has advised the public to look at their notes, ‘Touch, study and turn it over’. The police says a real Euro note has a certain firm tact and characteristic which is missing on the fake notes. When Euro notes are put up to the light you should see three security items. The watermark, the security thread, and inside the note which can’t normally see, but it you put it to the light and look at the white part of the note you can a design which includes the number of Euros of the note.

 

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Saturday, 11 August 2012

Spanish police working with the FBI have halted an attempt by a major Mexican drug smuggling and distribution ring to establish a European operation

Spanish police working with the FBI have halted an attempt by a major Mexican drug smuggling and distribution ring to establish a European operation, authorities said Friday. Four suspected Sinaloa cartel members, including an alleged cousin of the group's notorious leader, have been arrested in Madrid. The Interior Ministry said the cartel wanted to make Spain a gateway for operations in Europe, even carrying out test runs using shipping containers without drugs. But investigators managed to monitor many of the group's activities and intercepted a container carrying 373 kilos (822 pounds) of cocaine in late July before moving in to make the arrests. The ministry statement said Jesus Gutierrez Guzman, Rafael Humberto Celaya Valenzuela, Samuel Zazueta Valenzuela and Jesus Gonzalo Palazuelos Soto were arrested near their hotels in the Spanish capital. The statement did not say precisely when the arrests were made, and ministry officials reached by phone could not immediately give exact details of the dates. The investigation was initiated by the Boston unit of the FBI's Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force in 2009, said Greg Comcowich, a spokesman for the Boston FBI. Comcowich said the FBI later worked with the Spanish national police. Jesus Gutierrez Guzman is alleged to be the cousin of Joaquin Guzman, known as "El Chapo," the leader of the cartel and among the world's most wanted fugitives. Since escaping prison in 2001, Joaquin Guzman has run the Sinaloa cartel, one of Mexico's two most powerful drug-organizations, from a series of hideouts and safe houses across Mexico. Law-enforcement officials say he has earned billions of dollars moving tons of cocaine and other drugs north to the United States. In recent months, the Sinaloa cartel and its allies have been waging a brutal war against the paramilitary Zetas cartel across Mexico, often carrying out mass killings that have left hundreds of dismembered bodies dumped in public places. Along with the alleged link to the cartel leader, the arrests in Spain have attracted a great deal of media interest in Mexico because a Facebook page in Celaya Valenzuela's name appears to show a photograph of him alongside Enrique Pena Nieto, the man who won the July 1 presidential elections. The photo was posted on Feb. 11. Pena Nieto's Institutional Revolutionary Party, the PRI, appeared to acknowledge he was a member, as Celaya Valenzuela claimed, but said he had not participated in Pena Nieto's campaign. The PRI noted in a statement that "during his presidential campaign, Enrique Pena Nieto took hundreds of thousands of photos with party members and sympathizers, without that implying any commitment or close relationship." In early 2012, Celaya Valenzuela applied to be the party's candidate for a congressional seat in northern Sonora state. The PRI refused to allow his candidacy, arguing he did not have enough support among party members, according to court documents of an appeal he filed against that decision. The issue is a sensitive one, given that President Felipe Calderon has accused some members of the PRI of wanting to make deals with drug cartels in exchange for peace. Pena Nieto has hotly denied he will make any deals with the gangs. The operation against the Sinaloa cartel was made possible thanks to agents using "the most modern research techniques," which had at all times been supervised by judges and prosecutors, the Interior Ministry statement said. It noted that "the bulk" of the investigation was carried out in the United States. U.S. agents had learned that cartel members were planning to travel to Spain and were later able to confirm the trip, which took place in March 2011, the statement said. Thanks to the information provided by the FBI's Boston division, Spanish police located the suspects and monitored them closely "to ensure their full identification," the statement said. The statement said FBI investigators had determined that the gang intended to begin large cocaine shipments by sea with the drugs concealed in cargo containers. The cartel used stringent security measures to try to ensure the success of the operation and did several test runs, initially shipping containers without any drugs in them. When they sent a first drugs shipment to Spain on board a ship from Brazil in late July, officers intercepted it, the statement said. Comcowich declined to say how the investigation began or whether anyone from the area was involved in the cartel. The Boston division of the FBI covers Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. "There was investigative activity in the United States, but at this time the details of that activity and how it was related to the Spanish arrests are not being released," Comcowich said. The arrest of Guzman's alleged cousin could potentially lead to information about the whereabouts of the fugitive Mexican drug lord. Investigators working to bust Sinaloa's operations thought in June that they had nabbed a son of Joaquin Guzman, but it turned out they got the wrong man.

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Wednesday, 8 August 2012

British man sentenced to 19 years for stabbing his Irish ex-girlfriend 53 times

The Briton who killed his Irish ex-girlfriend, Avril Louise Flanagan, by stabbing her 53 times has been sent to prison for 19 years. The Court for Violence against Women in Orihuela handed down their sentence against Alan Matthew Daulby. He was found guilty of, last 29 May 2009, stabbing his ex-girlfriend 53 times across her body. It happened on May 29 2009 in the Aparthotel Playa Marina on Orihuela Costa. The couple had been living together, and sentence says that the ex-girlfriend when to his house at about 12 o’clock to collect some of her belongings, and to ask him to stop phoning her insistently. In this moment Alan Matthew grabbed her by the neck, and showing no mercy stabbed her 53 times until her body stopped moving. The victim’s family then arrived, and the aggressor escaped down the back stairs after wrapping her body in plastic sheeting and hiding it under the sofa. The attacker said his ex-girlfriend thought he was a thief, and her lawyer asserted after she broke up with him, he started to abuse drugs and drink. Later the killer burnt all the clothes he had been wearing and the rags that he had used to clean the blood, on waste ground, taking them there in a suitcase. Its thought he failed to notice there was blood on the suitcase. He then continued driving to escape, but was intercepted by the Security Forces three hours later in Oliva, a distance of 200km away. The judge said that the stabbings carried out led to death, and his violent action ‘was conscious and voluntary’. Only one member of the jury led the judge to take off a year from the 20 year maximum for such a crime. Daulby didn’t make any statement for three years, but he finally admitted that his crime had destroyed both families.

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Saturday, 4 August 2012

Briton arrested at Málaga Airport for VAT fraud

58 year old is wanted by Germany and is expected to be extradited shortlyThe National Police has arrested a 58 year old British man at Málaga Airport, who wanted in Germany under a Detention for Extradition in regard to fraud in VAT returns. The frontier police at the airport last Wednesday detected the wanted Briton who was among travellers to Ireland. It has been calculated that the benefits of the fraud could ascend to some seven million €, according to a statement from the National Police. The arrested man has been transferred to Madrid and is at the disposition of Central Court Five in the National Court.

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yellow jacket stun gun case for iphone



yellow jacket is a case that transforms the iPhone 4 & 4S into that 650,000-volt stun gun you've always needed.





scheduled to hit the US market in fall 2012 the case is advertised as being able to 
easily stop an aggressive male attacker, and ready for use in less than two seconds. 
its designer seth froom, a former military policeman came up with the product after 
being robbed in his home at gunpoint.

what is the demand for such a hostile product you might ask? well, yellow jacket 
has managed to receive over 100,000 USD worth of backing on the crowd-funding 
website indiegogo which means that there must be quite a few people out there 
who feel the need to transform their phone into a weapon.


detail of the stun gun nodes 

the iPhone's designers could never have conceived half of the the weird and wonderful accessories 
that have been designed for use with the iPhone since its launch, but even in the name of self defense 
a stun gun seems a bit much, doesn't it?

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Friday, 3 August 2012

Two Britons arrested after fight in San Antoni disco

One needed two stiches in a face wound. Another two Britons have been arrested in Sant Antoni for fighting with their compatriots. One youngster, 21 year old, D.A. broke a glass in the face of another, 23 year old S.M.B, it seems after he considered he was pushed when he was dancing. A fight broke out and the aggressor placed several punches on the other Briton leaving him on the floor with blood coming from his mouth. The victim was taken to a health centre where he needed two stitches in the wound. Agents of the Local Police in Sant Antoni made the arrests on Sunday in the Avenida Doctor Fleming.

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20 year old British man accused of raping an 18 year old British woman

The Guardian Civil arrested a 20 year British man last weekend for the alleged rape of an 18 year British woman in her hotel room in Magaluf in Calvià. The arrested man, who was initially charged with the crime of sexual aggression, denied the accusation. His version was that he was not with the victim on the night concerned, and that he did not even know her. After declaring to the police court last Sunday, he was released with charges outstanding. The judge removed his passport. It happened last weekend when the victim and a girlfriend met a group of boys in the nightclub area of Magaluf. The two woman accepted an invitation to go with two of the men to their respective rooms in the early hours. The victim said that in principle she was going have sex with man, but suddenly he grabbed by the neck, and she asked him to stop. She claims the man ignored and she was then sexually assaulted

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75 year Briton caught running drugs across the Strait

75 year old Briton has been arrested by the Guardia Civil when he on a yacht, ‘Arabian Sunshine’ crossing the Strait of Gibraltar. The yacht was found to be carrying 1,038 kilos of hashish. The Guardia Civil stopped the yacht when it was halfway across the Strait even though it tried to escape when it noted the presence of the Guardia Civil. It has been estimated the 1,038 kilos of the drug would have reached 1.6 million € on the drugs market.

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Monday, 30 July 2012

New Chinese drug found in Madrid

National Police have arrested 67 Chinese in a network Madrid which were distributing a new drug ‘Kai Xin Guo’. The drug’s name translates to ‘happy fruit’ or ‘happy state’. The network operated in brothels and karaokes in the Chinese community. Many of those arrested live in the Parla or Leganés areas of the capital. The methamphetamine ’Ice’ and adulterated ketamine, ‘Kin’ are other drugs which are popular with Chinese residents in Spain. Nearly 2% of drivers who were killed in traffic accidents in 2011 had take ketamine. The group were introducing and distributing the drug in small quantities to as not to attract the attention of the Police. The Police say they did not detect the new drug in Spain until last year when the first quantities were found.

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Saturday, 28 July 2012

Peter O’Toole, known locally as Cara de Niño - ‘Babyface’, not guilty of trying to kill a tourist in February 2002.

The Málaga Provincial Court has found the Briton, Peter O’Toole, known locally as Cara de Niño - ‘Babyface’, not guilty of trying to kill a tourist in February 2002.

The case was held in high security, but the court finally considered that there was not enough evidence to prove that O’Toole fired the gun on the terrace of Looney’s Irish Pub in Benalmádena. The victim is now quadriplegic.

The case was based on a single witness but he declared in court that he could not identify O’Toole as the aggressor.
Curiously all the other witnesses to the shooting have since died or are in whereabouts unknown.

The Court notes that O’Toole himself did not any ‘convincing’ version in his defence. He admitted he had been in the bar, and did not explain why he left Spain the next day.

But the sentence says there is not enough evidence against him and a description of the attacker given by the bar owner was not a good match to O’Toole.

‘Baby Face’ is currently serving life imprisonment for two attacks in the UK, one victim was killed and a second survived.

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Friday, 27 July 2012

Gangs of highway robbers are targeting British tourists on holiday in Spain.

Hundreds of visitors in British-registered vehicles or hire cars have had their possessions, passports and money taken in ‘quick and slick’ distraction muggings.

The thieves typically trick their victims with loud noises, apparent accidents, supposed vehicle problems or pleas for help – before stealing bags and belongings from their vehicles. 

Thieves: Hundreds of visitors in British-registered vehicles or hire cars have had their possessions, passports and money taken in 'quick and slick' distraction muggings

Thieves: Hundreds of visitors in British-registered vehicles or hire cars have had their possessions, passports and money taken in 'quick and slick' distraction muggings

As millions of families begin their summer breaks, the Foreign Office has warned British-registered cars are ‘an easy target’ for motorway thieves. 

The number of British tourists ambushed on Spanish roads has soared as the euro crisis has deepened, with the British Embassy in Madrid reporting a 10 per cent rise in the first quarter of this year.

 This is likely to increase further as the peak holiday season begins. 

A spokesman for the embassy said:  ‘Motorists may be driving along the motorway and not notice there’s a car close up behind. 

‘Someone in the other car throws a stone at their vehicle which creates a loud bang. The British drivers pull over to see what has happened and the gang is behind them. 

‘They cause a distraction to steal from them or simply mug them. It’s a growing problem.’

Warning: As millions of families begin their summer breaks, the Foreign Office has warned British-registered cars are ¿an easy target¿ for motorway thieves

Warning: As millions of families begin their summer breaks, the Foreign Office has warned British-registered cars are ¿an easy target¿ for motorway thieves

A hotspot for the gangs is the AP7 motorway between the French border and the Alicante region in southern Spain. 

More than 140 cases of theft on this route were reported to British Consulates last year. 

However, a spokesman said there were likely to be ‘hundreds more’ attacks going unreported across Spain because victims usually contact a British consulate only if they have lost their passport. 

Dave Thomas, consular regional director for Spain, said: ‘Be on your guard against anyone who attempts to stop you or ask you for help.

‘They may well be part of a  gang operating a scam in which an unseen accomplice will rob you of your things.’ 

Stephen and Helen Robinson, from Desford, Leicestershire, had their bags stolen from their Audi Q5 as they stopped to walk their labrador retriever Polly at a service station between Barcelona and Valencia. 

The couple, who are in their 50s, were standing at the boot of their car when a man on a mobile phone asked them how to say something in English. 

While he distracted them, their belongings were taken from the front of the car, despite Polly being inside. 

Mrs Robinson said: ‘It was quick and slick. You may be more tired and therefore more vulnerable when you’ve been travelling, so separate your valuables into different places in the car, and when you stop be aware you may be being watched. You won’t see the accomplice of the person who is distracting you.’ 

In a separate incident, Joy and Alan Horton, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, were driving a Ford Focus hatchback through Spain when they heard a loud bang and pulled over.

A car that had been travelling close behind them also stopped, and while the driver talked to them, his accomplice stole their possessions without them noticing.

Mr Horton said: ‘If you think your car may have been in a collision and you pull over, lock the car as soon as you get out and mount a guard on both sides of the vehicle. Keep all bags and valuables in a locked boot.’ 

Professor Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘Drivers need to remember to stay alert and be ready for unwelcome surprises just as they would be at home.’



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Thursday, 26 July 2012

The biggest fines in British maritime history were handed down to a group of Spanish fishermen on Thursday, for illegal fishing in UK waters.


Leo blog : Romanian fishermen are cleaning up their net from small dead fish
 Photograph: Robert Ghement/EPA

Some of the biggest fines in British maritime history were handed down to a group of Spanish fishermen on Thursday, for illegal fishing in UK waters.

Two companies owned by the Vidal family were fined £1.62m in total in a Truro court, after a two-day hearing, in which details emerged of falsified log books, failing to register the transfer of fish between vessels, false readings given for weighing fish at sea, and fiddling of fishing quotas.

Judge Graham Cottle said the family were guilty of "wholesale falsification of official documentation" that amounted to a "systematic, repeated and cynical abuse of the EU fishing quota system over a period of 18 months".

He said: "[This was a] flagrant, repeated and long term abuse of regulations. The fish targeted [hake] was at that time a species of fish on the verge if collapse and adherence to quotas was seen as crucial to the survival of the species."

The Spanish fishing vessels had been sailing under UK flags and were landing fish based on quotas given to British fishermen under the EU's common fisheries policy. Two vessels were involved, but the companies own several other large vessels, capable of industrial-scale fishing.

The offending fishermen, who admitted their guilt earlier this year, were not in court to hear him, having been given leave to return to Spain last night. The offences, dating from 2009 and 2010, relate to two companies, Hijos De Vidal Bandin SA and Sealskill Limited, both owned by the Vidal family. They were fined £925,000 on a confiscation order, plus £195,000 in costs, and an additional fine of £250,000 levied on each of the two companies. Two skippers who were acting under the family's instructions were fined £5,000 each.

Ariana Densham, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, who was present for the trial and judgement, said that the fines, while welcome, did not go far enough. "This group of people should never be allowed near UK fishing quota again," she said. "The Vidal's right to fish should be removed completely."

She said the offences showed the vulnerability of the EU's fishing quota system to fraud. "The system that allowed this to happen needs to be fixed," she said. "This case is not a one off. It's a symptom of Europe's farcical fishing rules. The Vidals were permitted to fish under UK flags, using UK quota, and receive huge EU subsidies, with none of the proceeds ever feeding back into the UK economy. The system is skewed in favour of rich, powerful, industrial-scale fishing companies, when really it should be supporting low-impact, sustainable fishermen."

There are currently moves under way in Brussels by the fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki, to reform the EU's common fisheries policy. The proposed reforms – which include the ending of the wasteful practice of discarding healthy and edible fish at sea – have met stiff opposition, particularly from the French and Spanish fishing industries. Spain has the biggest fishing fleet in Europe and receives the lion's share of the subsidies available for fishing within the EU. A historic agreement was reached among member states last month on the proposals, but they must now pass the European parliament, which is expected to consider the proposals later this year.

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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

British woman raped by two men on Ibiza

A British tourist has denounced that has been raped by two men. According to her account, which has not been confirmed by official sources, on Saturday night she and her friends decided to go out in Platja d’en Bossa in Ibiza. She did not accompany then but decided to go later so she called a taxi. She says that at this moment two men came up and forced her into a car, took her to waste ground and raped her. Afterwards they left her by some rubbish containers. A family saw and escorted her to the Guardia Civil barracks, where she made her complaint. She says the two men have been detained, but this has not been confirmed.

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Hashish runners arrested in Málaga and Cádiz

16 people have been arrested by the gang which used false bottoms in the hull of their ships.The false bottom in the hull  A network which introduced large quantities of Moroccan Hashish via Cádiz and Málaga, has been broken up by the National Police. The traffickers hid the hashish in boats with a double bottom in the hull. This helped them to escape air controls. There are 16 people detained and 1,040 kilos of drug has been impounded. Several transport companies were controlled by the gang who supplied the pilots of the launches and the infrastructure needed for the collection and storage of the merchandise. The head of the group lived in Algeciras.

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Monday, 23 July 2012

Car thief speeds off with baby in back seat

A ONE-year-old child was snatched from his mother after a car thief drove off with the sleeping youngster in a back seat. The incident happened in a Spanish holiday town Benalmadena in the Costa del Sol as the Irish woman was loading her shopping into the boot of her 4X4. As she was putting the shopping into the boot, a man jumped into the front seat and sped off through the town. However, a witness immediately rang the emergency services who set off in pursuit. The chase ended when the man drove into a cul-de-sac and was cornered. The child was returned to his distraught mother safe and well. The incident occurred at around 5pm on Saturday as the unnamed expat put her shopping into the boot of her Audi Q7 in the supermarket car park. She had put her little son into his car seat and is thought to have left the key in the ignition and the engine running so the air conditioning would kick in. The opportunist thief, a 21-year-old Romanian who was being quizzed by police yesterday, jumped into the vehicle and sped off. It was not clear if he knew a child was in the back when he took off. A police source said: "Fortunately the youngster was unharmed. "We reunited him with his mum, who was understandably in a state of total and utter panic. "It must have been a terrifying experience for her but luckily one with a happy ending." The suspect is expected to be handed over to an investigating magistrate shortly. The incident was the second of its kind in a week in the area. Last Monday a man attempted to seize a woman's car as she sat at traffic lights in Malaga with her child in the back. Two people in a nearby van jumped out and held the would-be robber until police arrived.

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Thursday, 19 July 2012

Two Marbella Local Police arrested for drug trafficking

Two Local Police have been arrested in Marbella in an operation against drug trafficking. The National Police operation also at least two other people who were also arrested, and there could be a third. The arrests took place on Monday morning, and the local policemen are to be indicted on charges of bribery, drug trafficking, perversion of the course of justice and omission of their obligation to chase crimes. There are no more details at present of the operation which was carried out by the specialist GRECO unit, and reporting restrictions have been introduced in the case.

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35 year old British man who is accused of shooting another Briton in a bar in Benalmádena in the back of the neck

A 35 year old British man who is accused of shooting another Briton in a bar in Benalmádena in the back of the neck, has denied the accusation. The Briton is accused of shooting the other man on a terrace in Benalmádena and faces a charge of attempted murder and the prosecutor has initially requested 14 years in prison. The oral case started yesterday, Wednesday, amid high security given that the accused has a penal record in Britain where he will return when this case is closed. The shooting happened in February 2002, and according to the initial statement from the prosecutor the accused surprised his victim, who was sitting on the bar terrace, from behind, and fired a single shot into the neck with an unidentified weapon. The victim suffered a serious long lasting wound. The accused claims that he was in the bathroom when he heard shots, and thought they were after him, so he fled, indicating he left Spain. The bar owned did not recognise the accused in court yesterday.

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British driver arrested for doing 221km/h in Burgos

Agents from the Guardia Civil Traffic Group have today arrested a British couple who were driving in their Audi 4 on the A-1 at the 160km point near Aranda de Duero in Burgos at 221 km/h. The Government Sub delegation in Burgos says the 32 year old driver was accompanied by a 26 year old woman, and was clocked at 221km/h on the 120km/h road. The driver now faces charges as the alleged author of a crime against Road Safety before the Instruction Court in Aranda de Duero.

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Monday, 16 July 2012

30 people in 15 Spanish provinces have been arrested for defrauding 120 million € in the sale of fuel.

 In addition 23 searches have been carried out in homes and businesses which have recovered assets of 55 million €.

Up to now 79 top of the range vehicles, 209 properties and 20 million € have all been impounded, along with 3.5 million litres of fuel.
Two organisations were broken up by the Guardia Civil and the Agencia Tributaria. 

They purchased a large amount of diesel and petrol, avoiding the payment of IVA/VAT, which allowed them to lower their prices without competition.

They had contacts in European and Arab countries and to gain confidence from the client, presented themselves with people of prestige from the sector.

They had links to Germany, Britain, Pakistan, Belgium, Portugal, Italy, the United Arab Emirates, and Panama, and it has been estimated that the volume of business detected in bank accounts linked to these criminal organisations is over a billion €.

The National Fraud Investing Office, (ONIF) coordinated the operation which was called ‘Bashnya’ and started in February last year.

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The Police have broken up a gang of drug traffickers on the Costa del Sol.


Five arrests have been made and 1,600 kilos of hashish impounded in an operation called ‘Sarco’.

Although the five, aged between 32 and 67, were based on the Costa del Sol they often changed their address to avoid being localised.
The operation remains open, as police analyse documents taken and a 9mm pistol which was loaded. 

The investigation started at the end of last year when the police became aware of the group and started to indentify its members.

The gang of several nationalities moved the drugs from Spain to Holland, Great Britain and Ireland, according to a Ministry of the Interior statement on Saturday.

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If you want to make a complaint you have to speak Spanish

A cut in the number of interpreters means that non-Spanish speakers are now unable to place a denuncia or make a complaint in most of the Police Stations on the Costa de Sol. El Mundo says that the National Police are telling foreign callers, ‘I’m sorry, sir, with these cuts I cannot say anything else. We cannot help you unless you bring an interpreter’. The paper claims people are being turned away even if they want to report a robbery or aggression, and that it is same trying to so in person or over the phone. An interpreter company was taken on last May to give a national phone service, but this has gone bankrupt. Tourist bosses have been putting forward ideas to solve the problem which they say is damaging the tourist image which it says is returning to previous times. One of them is to use language students as partners. Thankfully, when a tourist is robbed now they usually go to their hotel receptionist who can organise someone to go with them to the police. Twenty years or so ago, that was quite a common sight and it’s becoming so once again. Under Spanish Law, State Security Forces have now requirement to speak a second language.

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Saturday, 14 July 2012

Juan Antono Roca's lawyer tells the court he is innocent

The defence lawyer for Juan Antonio Roca, the man at the centre of the Malaya corruption case based in Marbella Town Hall, which is continuing in Málaga, has said, ‘Roca obtained indecent profits, but legal ones’. Rocio Amigo went on to say that Roca purchased and sold, and sometimes he obtained a grand profit, and other profits were indecent, but always legal. The lawyer was speaking in her final report before the court. She called for Roca to be absolved, describing his curriculum as that of ‘a successful businessman’ who had made his first inversion in real estate before he was 30. Amigo insisted that real estate speculation may be amoral, but it is legal. She said Roca had a good wage and 20 fully-functioning companies in 1996, which generated millionaire profits. She went on to attack the first instruction judge in the case, Miguel Ángel Torres, for what she considered were unfounded presumptions. During the investigation she also criticised the police investigation, noting they tapped Roca’s phone without a judicial order.

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ETA member arrested in Edinburgh

ETA member, Beñat Atorrasagasti Ordóñez, has been arrested in Scotland. There has been a search and capture order against him since 2001. He was in two ETA units, one which got people over the French-Spanish border, and he also help in ETA’s falsification group. He was in Scotland as part of a reserve group, but he was operative. The Guardia Civil and the police in Scotland jointly took part in the arrest. The Ministry of the Interior says he was arrested at 10pm on Friday in Edinburgh.

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Man sets fire to house with his ex and four children inside

The Guardia Civil has arrested a man in Torre Pacheco, Murcia, after he set fire to a house with his ex girlfriend, her new boyfriend and the arsonist's four children inside. He had a distancing order from his ex partner. The family were resting when the fire broke out at 2.17am today, Friday. The 34 year old woman and mother of the four children is receiving psychological help at a domestic violence victims’ centre in Torre Pacheco. The arrested man has been named with the initials K.A.V.M. and is Ecuadorian. He has a record for similar earlier events, according to a Guardia Civil statement, and is accused of crimes of attempted murder; escape from prison, and against collective safety. He will be put before the Instruction Court 5 in San Javier on Saturday.

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Gang of five drug traffickers arrested on the Costa del sol

The Police have broken up a gang of drug traffickers on the Costa del Sol. Five arrests have been made and 1,600 kilos of hashish impounded in an operation called ‘Sarco’. Although the five, aged between 32 and 67, were based on the Costa del Sol they often changed their address to avoid being localised. The operation remains open, as police analyse documents taken and a 9mm pistol which was loaded. The investigated started at the end of last year when the police became aware of the group and started to indentify its members. The gang of several nationalities moved the drugs from Spain to Holland, Great Britain and Ireland, according to a Ministry of the Interior statement on Saturday.

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