Saturday, 25 June 2011

Serbian gangster on the run left behind Eva Peron's stolen jewellery

Rings, earrings and the tiara, given to Eva Peron by the Dutch Royal family, were found in a hotel room in Milan. They were left behind by a member of the Serbian gang, which was identified and partially arrested by police months ago.

The gang stole the jewellery in December 2009 from a shop in Valencia, Spain, simulating purchase intentions. It is believed that the value of the collection exceeds 6 million euros.

The investigation was conducted by Spanish and Italian police. They identified the robbers as a gang of Serbs, situated in the area of Milan. Ten of them were collared in Spain in May 2010, another was arrested in Milan.

The latest development occurred this week, when policemen broke in a hotel room in the northern Italian city. Its occupant fled, leaving behind three quarters of the stolen collection of Eva Peron.
The former first lady of Argentina was known for her fascination with jewellery and her treasure is nearly mythical. Its theft was one of the biggest in recent history.


Monday, 20 June 2011

Police smash pirating network in Granada and arrest 14 people

A National Police operation in Granada has seized 65,000 pirated CDs and DVDs after searching five addresses in the city where the illegal copies were stored and distributed to street pedlars or dispatched by courier to other Spanish provinces.

The Interior Ministry said in a press release on Monday that police have also located the premises where the pirated copies were produced, where dozens of copiers worked continually throughout the day. It was also here that the group produced fake brand name goods, ranging from copies of Ray Ban and Prada sunglasses, to replica watches and fake Adidas and Nike sports shoes.

The Ministry put the loss of profits to the manufacturers affected at close to 1 million €.

It’s understood that 14 suspects have been taken into custody.


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Swedish student stabbed to death in Fuengiorla Hotel

19 year old Swedish woman has died and another has been injured after a stabbing attack in a hotel in Fuengirola. The alleged aggressor, a 30 year old Moroccan who has been arrested, appears to have tried to rape the two women.

A struggle is reported with the aggressor using a kitchen knife and cutting the neck of one of the women leading to her death. The second woman suffered cuts to her hands and neck, but managed to get out of the room and call for help.

It happened at 4am on Saturday morning in the El Cid Hotel in Calle Conde de San Isidro. A statement from the hotel said that the two Swedish women had registered at the hotel on the 16th of the month with the idea of celebrating their end of course, and Saturday was to be their last night. The alleged attacked had paid for just the one night and is reported to have met the two earlier in a discotheque.


British man arrested for drug trafficking in Santander

National Police in Santander have arrested a 50 year old British man, named with the initials A.K., who was found to have 171 kilos of hashish in his car before he could board the Santander to Plymouth ferry.

Police said the arrest came as a result of investigations which started in Madrid by their specialist UDYCO drug and organised crime unit.

Their intelligence told them that a Briton driving a Vauxhall Astra could be carrying drugs onto the ferry, and on June 14th the police found the car parked in the street in Santander. Checks at local hotels found the owner of vehicle who was arrested at 2am on June 15th when he returned to his hotel in a taxi.

He was carrying 815 €, 270 pounds, and a mobile phone, and a later search of his car found 681 packages, 171 kilos of hashish hidden in a false floor and the door panels of the vehicle.

Police estimate the value of the drugs on the market at some 250,000 €.


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Juan Antonio Roca refused plea bargain in Malaya case

It has emerged that the ex Municipal Real Estate Assessor from Marbella Town Hall, and the man at the centre of the Malaya corruption allegations, Juan Antonio Roca, has rejected a plea bargain with the Málaga Anti-Corruption Prosecutor in the case.
El País reports that he refused to declare himself guilty in exchange to being allowed to keep his family estate in Marbella. The rest of his assets, valued at over 200 million €, have been automatically seized by the State.

Roca acquired the family home in Calle Estéban Calderón through a Gibraltar company in 1989 before he started work at Marbella Town Hall. Therefore it can be considered that the property is not part of the assets which have been blocked in the case. However the property is likely to have to be used to pay a fine facing Roca for money laundering, which experts expect to be placed at around 100 million €.

Roca however rejected the plea bargain, and is now in the middle of the court case which is expected to last two years and where he faces as much as 30 years in prison, and fines totalling 810 million €. He is accused of perversion of the course of justice, misuse of public funds, fraud and bribery.

On Monday the court in Málaga will hear from the people who allegedly helped Roca to launder his proceeds allegedly obtained by demanding money from businessmen in Marbella


Spain's National Police board yacht carrying 600 kilos of cocaine

Six hundred kilos of cocaine have been recovered after a yacht was boarded by the GEO Special Operations Unit of the Spanish National Police in international waters, 180 miles off Cape San Vicente, Portugal, early on Tuesday.

A man from Holland, who was the only person on board the yacht, the ‘Dalí’, was taken into custody.

The operation was supported by the Spanish Navy and the Portuguese Air Force and came after joint investigations by the National Police Central Drugs Brigade and the UK’s Serious Organised Crime Agency, which EFE reports revealed that the cargo was bound for Spain.

The Spanish Navy escorted the yacht into port in Cádiz later on Tuesday, where Chief Inspector José Antonio Rodríguez of the Udyco central organised crime and drugs squad told the press that the cocaine haul is one of the largest made in Spain so far this year. La Voz de Cádiz said the cocaine found on board the Dalí is thought to be 80% pure and gives its street value as some 20 million €.

The Dalí is believed to have set sail from a Spanish port at the beginning of January to pick up its cargo in an as yet unidentified Caribbean country before setting sail for the return journey to Spain around a month ago.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Major drugs haul off the coast of Cartagena

The Agencia Tributaria Tax Authority released details on Monday of an operation off the Murcia coast last December which seized more than four tons of cannabis when a suspicious fishing boat was intercepted by Customs officers 24 miles south of Cartagena.

The Tax Authority said the 4.32 tons of cannabis found on board would have had a street value of more than 6 million €.

Five people, including the boat’s captain, were taken into custody. It’s understood from La Verdad newspaper that some of the suspects had been investigated for drug smuggling previously by the Customs section of the Tax Authority.

Details of the operation have only just been released as investigations were still ongoing until recently.


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

CORONER has admitted that the family of a Liverpool man may never know how he came to plunge five storeys from a flat in Spain.

Marcel Ogungboro, 33, suffered fatal head injuries after falling from a balcony in Benalmadena on the Costa del Sol in December 2009.

The British inquest into his death was heard yesterday, 18 months later, after the coroner said he was unlikely to hear better evidence if he waited for Spanish inquiries to finish.

Liverpool coroner Andre Rebello said: “We know there was head injury, we know it was a consequence of falling from a height.

“But what we don’t know is what caused the fall. I don’t think we can get beyond that. It may have been an accident or it may be something more.”

The court was read witness statements from Christopher Longhurst, 29, and David Patrick Ormsby, 31, who had been drinking with Mr Ogungboro before his fall.

They said they had been in a bar until 3am before going back to Mr Ormsby’s flat for more drinks.

At some point, they said, Mr Ogungboro went out on to the balcony and tried to climb over. They said they talked to him for 15 minutes and persuaded him to come back inside but he later ran to the balcony.

They said they “heard something hit the floor” and looked over to see him lying in the courtyard below and the caretaker looking up and seeing them.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

SPANISH Police have broken up a huge prostitution ring in the Campo de Gibraltar.

A total of 15 men – all Romanians – were arrested for allegedly forcing young women to work in brothels.
In a series of raids – dubbed ‘Operation Damas’ – officers interviewed dozens of women apparently abused in this way.
Most of the young women had been enticed to Spain from Romania with the promise of well paid jobs.
However when they arrived in Spain they were quickly coerced into selling sex in a series of brothels and even on the streets.
Police in La Linea had been trailing the gang since December 2010 piecing together their modus operandi and trying to identify their victims.
The arrests come after one female victim filed a formal complaint before entering into a witness protection program.
The gang mainly operated in the Campo area – mainly San Roque and Sabanillas – as well as in Malaga province and Asturias in the north of Spain.

“Thanks to monitoring operations set up in and around the brothels, there is enough evidence to suggest that the gang was committing offences ranging from human trafficking to participation in a criminal organisation,” explained a police spokesman.

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Holiday homes bosses accused of huge swindle,The Costa del Sol property empire has all but vanished. An investigation traced MRI companies to an empty office in Madrid.

The founder and top executives behind former holiday home giant MRI face legal action in Spain after hundreds of Britons allegedly lost money estimated to amount to £13million.

Dubliner Darragh MacAnthony, who owns Peterborough Football Club, which has just won promotion to the Championship, set up MacAnthony Realty International (MRI) in Marbella as the Millennium began.

Hugely popular on the British market, MRI boasted a £100 million annual turnover before the credit crunch. As well as property development in Spain, MRI marketed villas and apartments in Morocco, Bulgaria and Cape Verde, where the company also arranged furniture supplies.

But now MacAnthony, 35, and his former joint chief executives, Michael Liggan and Dominic Pickering, have been accused of ‘theft by swindle and misappropriation of funds’ in a claim filed in Madrid by 60 British and Irish claimants who say they lost more than half a million pounds in undelivered furniture five years ago.

Lawyer Antonio Flores of Marbella- based property solicitors Lawbird, accused MacAnthony of failing in an obligation to file for insolvency for his Spanish companies.

MacAnthony and his former chief executives have consistently denied any wrongdoing. In relation to the forthcoming claim, MacAnthony, speaking from the US, said: ‘There are no foundations behind these allegations. I certainly didn’t do anything wrong and neither did anyone with MRI when I was there.’
The allegations made in Spain follow what Northern Ireland MP Sammy Wilson described in the House of Commons last year as a property fraud where MRI, or related companies such as MRI Overseas Property, acted as the developer.
The company used programmes on the Property TV Channel hosted by MacAnthony’s younger sister, Wendy, to market holiday homes.

In 2008, as a result of complaints against MRI, a tribunal held by the National Federation of Property Professionals said it was ‘appalled to hear of the company’s misleading business practices’. It issued fines of £5,000 and MacAnthony resigned his membership of the Federation.
Prompted by complaints from British customers, the Serious Fraud Office looked into MRI but took no action. However, it sent alleged victims a letter which said that although it did not intend to prosecute anyone, this did not mean that an offence had not been committed elsewhere.
The Costa del Sol property empire has all but vanished. An investigation traced MRI companies to an empty office in Madrid.

Documents show that last October MacAnthony and Pickering, as directors, handed MRI Overseas Property Group to a Peruvian company, under the directorship of octogenarian Fernando Arespacochaga, which appears to have never traded.

John and Muriel Andrews from Ballycarry, Co Antrim, paid £26,000 for a furniture pack in 2006, but Mr Andrews said: ‘We as yet have received no furniture, no offer of a refund, no apology.’


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