Friday, 30 September 2011

Belgian couple spot the men who stole their car in Belgium on a Spanish beach


Sometimes it a very small world. A Belgian couple who had their car stolen at gunpoint in Belgium some months ago could not believe it when they recognised their attackers when on holiday in Alicante. They saw them on the beach in Guardamar, Alicante last Monday, and made no hesitation in calling the Spanish police. While they were waiting for the police to arrive, the couple found their own car parked nearby, and the owner decided to puncture the tyres to ensure that the thieves could not take it again. After the police arrived a search of the car revealed a simulated pistol. The two men, 47 year old L.J. and 20 year old G.C.D., were taken into custody and it’s now known that there was an international search and capture order in force against them. One of them has served time for serious sexual crimes against children. They have now both been passed to the National Court ahead of being extradited to Belgium.

Major heroin haul in Algeciras


The second largest ever haul of heroin in Spanish history has been seized at the port in Algeciras, from a container which was on route to the Ivory Coast from Pakistan. The consignment of heroin was found in three hundred cylinders, each weighing half a kilo, which had been hidden in the cargo of iron oxide powder. The Agencia Tributaria Tax Authority had tracked the container until it arrived at the port, where it was searched on Wednesday. There has been no announcement of any arrests in connection with the find as yet. Spain’s biggest ever haul of heroin was in Sitges, Cataluña, three years ago, where more than 300 kilos were seized.

Ex Ronda Mayor released on bail in corruption case


Antonio Marín Lara, the ex Socialist Mayor of Ronda who was amongst seven people arrested on Tuesday in an operation against alleged planning corruption, dubbed ‘Operación Acinipo’, has been released on 150,000 € bail. He was freed on Thursday after questioning by the judge and is charged with perversion of the course of justice, bribery, money laundering, misappropriation of public funds and influence peddling. It’s understood that he has 15 days to pay his bail. Marín Lara left the court in Ronda at around 5pm, five and a half hours after he arrived there under police escort. The six remaining suspects who were arrested on Tuesday have also been released from custody, but all have been charged. Two other people have been questioned at courts in Madrid and Valencia and face similar charges as the ex Mayor. The four Socialist councillors, including the ex-Mayor, among those arrested on Tuesday have now resigned from the PSOE party. The party had previously suspended the four.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Irish expat charged with prostitutes' murder in Spain


The 42-year-old man, who is believed to be Irish, was arrested near his home in the resort of Mijas Costa, near Marbella on Spain's southern coast on Friday. The suspect's girlfriend and her mother were also being held over possible involvement in the serial slayings. Police suspect him of stabbing two prostitutes to death, the first in August and the second a month later. The killer was dubbed the "10 murderer" because both women were killed on the tenth of the month. The first woman, said to be 45 years old and of Argentine origin, was found dead in her apartment in the nearby resort of Calahonda. She had been stabbed at least 15 times and was found by her son with a pillowcase tied round her neck and a cushion over mouth. A month later police discovered the body of a 47-year-old Ecuadorian born woman at her home in San Pedro near Marbella. She had 12 stab wounds to her chest and neck. Both women reportedly advertised their services through local newspapers. Post mortem evidence suggested the two women shared the same killer. Police are investigating whether the suspect could be linked to other unsolved murders across Spain.

Blasts hit ex-home of Franco-era politician


A Spanish official says two homemade explosive devices detonated outside the childhood home of Manuel Fraga, the last surviving member of the regime of Gen. Francisco Franco. No one was hurt. An official with the Interior Ministry office in Lugo province in northwest Spain says Monday's blasts broke windows and damaged the facade of the house, which is being turned into a museum by the conservative Popular Party, which Fraga founded. The devices were composed of explosive power of the kind used to make fireworks and butane gas canisters used for camping stoves. The official said there was no immediate claim of responsibility. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with ministry rules. Fraga is 88 and has a seat in the Senate.

Spanish police hold suspected 'Irish serial murderer'


SPANISH police were last night reported to be holding an Irishman on suspicion of stabbing two women to death in their Costa del Sol homes. Leading Spanish TV station Telecinco described the suspect as Irish. Last night speculation was mounting that detectives were treating him as a suspected serial killer and looking to link him to a series of other unsolved murders across the country. Detectives established a link between the deaths of two women reported to have worked as prostitutes advertising their services through papers. A 45-year-old Spanish woman of Argentine origin was found in her luxury apartment in the Costa del Sol resort of Calahonda on August 11. She had been stabbed 15 times. A month later, police discovered the body of a 47-year-old Ecuador-born woman at her rented home near Marbella. She had bled to death after being stabbed up to 12 times in her chest and neck. Secrecy Due to the investigating judge granting a secrecy order on the case, spokesmen from Spain's National Police and Civil Guard were unable to confirm the name and nationality of the suspect or discuss local media reports he had been carrying false ID when he was arrested. A spokesman for the National Police said: "I've seen the reports suggesting the suspect is Irish and I've also seen other newspaper reports he's from central Europe, but I cannot give you any details about the man who is in custody." His Moroccan girlfriend and her mother were also being held. The man being held in custody was arrested on Friday at a gym near his home in Riviera del Sol near Fuengirola. The block where he was arrested is just a stone's throw from the home of missing Amy Fitzpatrick's mum, Audrey. Police are believed to have arrested him after stolen credit cards belonging to one of the victims was used to withdraw cash from ATMs in the area.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Two British swimmers cross the Strait


British swimmers, Edward Thedore Cox and Frazer Lloyd-Jones managed to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar on Saturday. A third Briton, Richard Woodrup Skelhorn, had to abandon his attempt halfway, being unable to keep up with the other two. The two successful swimmers, both aged 34, left La Isla de Tarifa at 0910 and arrived at Punta Almansa at 1357, helped by calm seas and weak westerly winds. A Moroccan police patrol inspected the documentation of the participants without any problem on their arrival on the Moroccan coast.

Arrested man admits to killings on the Costa del Sol


An alleged serial killer, who has been operating on the Costa del Sol and who is believed to be responsible for the deaths of two women, has been arrested. The crimes were on August 11 and September 10 in Calahonda and San Pedro de Alcántara, and in both cases the women had Spanish nationality but were of Latin American origin, and both were stabbed. Preliminary reports from the autopsies show certain similarities between the crimes. The 42 year old man, who has been revealed to be a foreigner although his nationality has not been announced, was arrested in Mijas, and the man’s mother and girlfriend have also been arrested to determine their possible implication in the crimes. The arrest took place on Friday night in a gymnasium near the suspect’s home in Urbanisation Riviera del Sol in Mijas Costa, and he was taken for questioning at the Fuengirola Civil Guard Barracks, while the two women were taken for questioning by the police in Marbella. The investigation was carried out jointly by the Guardia Civil and the National Police. They say that they cannot rule out other victims in other parts of Spain or in other countries, and they will continue to investigate over the next few days to try and establish if the suspect has taken part in other killings. On Saturday they said that the arrested man could have committed two more crimes, and believe that the tortures his victims before death. Latest reports indicate that he has admitted to the two crimes on the Costa del Sol.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

FALKLANDS war veteran went on a lavish £1million spending spree after ripping off two gangsters


FALKLANDS war veteran went on a lavish £1million spending spree after ripping off two gangsters. Ex-Royal Navy officer Dean Priestley had been asked by the crooks to drive the used notes across the Channel to Spain. But instead of sticking to the plan the 47-year-old went on the run and set about leading a life of luxury for six months. Advertisement >> Priestley splashed out on holidays, homes, cars, boats and jewellery as he hid from the villains who put out a hit on him. A court heard the furious crooks, known only as Mull and Steve, vowed to spend £5million hunting him down. The extraordinary case emerged as wife Derry, 48, was convicted of conspiracy to launder money. Her husband was jailed for three and a half years earlier this year after pleading guilty to conspiring to convert criminal property. Detective Constable Graham Duncan said: “This is the first case I have come across in 25 years of someone who allegedly stole £1million from criminals and has not given it back. “Dean Priestley was spending money like it was going out of fashion. He has shown a brass neck to the criminals he stole money from and shown no remorse.” Dad-of-two Priestley fled his £900,000 home in a water mill in Bielby, East Yorks, after stealing the cash. He called his wife to say: “I’ve done something really bad. I’m going to have to stay away for a long time.” He opened bank accounts in his privately-educated son’s names before depositing thousands of pounds in stolen cash. Priestley quickly splashed out on a luxury £230,000 Sealine S48 motor cruiser on Lake Windermere to hide from the villains. He also bought a £162,000 stone cottage for son Nathan, a semi-pro rugby player, in Wilsden, Bradford. He blew £20,000 on a Land Rover Defender 90 to drive between Lake District marinas and two £23,000 Audi A3s for cash from showroom dealers. He soon traded in one of the Audis, swapping it for a £32,000 black BMW 630 cabriolet picked out by his wife. At the time, Priestley was also being hunted by the police as he was wanted for extradition to France after being convicted in his absence of cannabis smuggling in his lorry. Wife Derry told Hull crown court she was threatened by two men from Manchester’s underworld to tell them where her husband was. She was told to take his birth and medical certificates to them just before they attacked his two sons with spray paint and an iron bar at their home. She said: “I got very depressed and suicidal. I was very low for a long time. I fled my home.” She remained in contact with her husband by mobile phone and made repeated visits to the Lake District to see him. The court heard Priestley bought a £5,000 diamond and 18 carat gold pendant from a jeweller for his wife’s birthday. He then paid for holidays to Spain, Amsterdam and a £4,000 trip to Australia. He even roped in his nephews, paying them £1,000 for every £10,000 they could put into banks. Mrs Priestley stopped using her Range Rover after finding a tracking device put on it by the Manchester criminals. It was Mrs Priestley’s call to the police saying the gangsters had told her that her husband had stolen £1million which started the investigation. Twice-married Mrs Priestley denied joining him when he ran up credit card bills on shopping trips. Prosecutor Timothy Capstick said her husband’s empire came crashing down when he was arrested by police coming out of a Leeds Hotel. They knew criminals had put a price on his head. The jury took less than 60 minutes to find Derry Priestley guilty. As well as the money laundering charge, she was also convicted of attempting to convert criminal property and converting criminal property. She will be sentenced at a later date. Her luxury home in Bielby, which the family had a mortgage on, has since been repossessed and sold on. Dean Priestley along with sons James, 23, Nathan, 22, and nephews Simon Taylor, 35, and Christopher Taylor, 32, all pleaded guilty to conspiring to convert criminal property before the start of their trial in March. His sons and nephews got suspended prison sentences. Priestley now faces an assets recovery hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act to seize any criminal cash he has left.

Finnish teenager missing from Fuengirola




Two days before her disappearance her family says Jenna reported her hosts to the police for having attempted to use her as a drugs mule, Spanish daily El Mundo reports

Jenna Lepomaki – who turned 19 on Wednesday (21st September) – was last seen on June 29.

According to her parents she was invited to stay with some male Finnish friends in Fuengirola, whom she met on a social networking site and paid for her trip.

Her family say they tried unsuccessfully to dissuade her from accepting the invitation. 

Since her disappearance her mother discovered that the people she was staying with had criminal records and have given inconsistent stories about the last time they saw her, according to Spanish daily El Mundo quoting a report in aCosta del Sol based Finnish newspaper, Ole.

On June 29 she reportedly went to a party with friends, although these were unable to say where the party they mentioned was held or who was there.

 However, the friends she was staying with claim that the last time they saw her at the party, she was crying and said she had to leave urgently because her father was ill.

Jenna’s mother suspects she may have made up this story to allow her to escape, according to the report in Ole. Since then, she hasn’t updated her Facebook profile, her phone is off and there has been no movement in her bank account.

Her disappearance is being investigated by the police both in Spain and in Finland.

Friday, 23 September 2011

Spanish jail-house film shows without on-the-run actor


A Spanish prison screened a short film made by inmates Friday with one missing ingredient -- a key actor in the jail-house drama is on the run. Inmates spent months making "Guilty", about a murderer haunted by his victim, to show in an annual festival behind bars in Leon, northern Spain, a prison official and media here said. "Among the inmates taking part, there was one in the final stages of his sentence who was allowed out regularly with leave, but who did not come back from one of those leaves," said a prison service spokeswoman. Prisoners completed the film without the missing actor who disappeared at least two months ago, said the spokeswoman for the Secretary General of Penitentiary Institutions. She denied reports he had the leading role. "He may have had some more important scenes but he was not not necessarily the hero." The actor is being sought for breach of a six-year drug-dealing sentence, which had been due for completion in 2012, she said, stressing that he was not considered a danger.

Owner of marijuana plantation caused Ibiza fire by negligence


Spanish man who was arrested for starting the fire which broke out on Ibiza on Sunday night is believed to have started it through negligence while he was caring for his marijuana plantation nearby. Civil Guard sources have told the EFE news agency that the cause is thought to be either a cigarette he was smoking or a fire he had lit to cook food. The suspect had spent the past few days caring for his crop in the area where the blaze broke out. He spent his nights in a home-made shelter and used a nearby cave to dry out his plants. The Civil Guard seized marijuana plants and dried leaves at the site, amounting to almost 6 kilos of the drug. The man now faces additional charges of a public health crime. The fire which began in Cala Llonga and forced hundreds of people to be evacuated in Santa Eulàra des Riu destroyed more than 80 hectares of pines and just under 9 hectares of agricultural crops. The amount of land destroyed is however lower than the original estimate of 115 hectares. The Baleares Nature Institute, Ibanat, gives the amount as 92.3 hectares.

Ten Britons arrested in new Ibiza raid against drug traffickers


The gang dealt in cocaine and designer drugs at the clubs on the island.Britons and an Irishman have been arrested by the Guardia Civil on Ibiza, accused of supplying drugs to discotheques on the island over the summer. The head of the gang was arrested in Manchester where a search of his flat revealed 40,000 pounds sterling and five kilos of cocaine. Information leading to the arrests came from a previous operation carried out at the end of August against other British traffickers on the Baleares, in which there were 13 arrests, nine Britons, three Irish and a Polish man. The Guardia Civil say the groups only operated in the high summer season, and made the use of several homes on the island to store small quantities of drugs which would be distributed within days. The main store of the drugs were hidden in hard to access parts of the countryside more than 5 kms away from any homes. They were protected in plastic bags, sealed with tape and placed in lunchboxes to avoid damp and any deterioration of the drug.

Detectives suspect possible serial killer in two murders on the Costa del Sol


The National Police are working together with the Civil Guard to solve two recent murders on the Málaga coast which La Opinión de Málaga reports officers believe could have been committed by a serial killer. Both victims were women, of a similar age, and were both from South America. They had both taken out Spanish nationality and were both found stabbed to death in properties which were not theirs. The first victim was Susana M.F. from Argentina, whose son found her stabbed to death in a flat in Calahonda, Mijas, on August 11. One month later, on September 10, the body of Maryuru Alice P., a 47 year old woman from Brazil, was discovered in San Pedro de Alcántara, by the owner of the flat where she was found. The autopsy has shown that she died the previous day. Domestic violence has been ruled out in both cases. La Opinión has spoken to detectives who are working on the investigation, who believe the killer could be related to previous murders with a similar modus operandi.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011



Firefighters discovered five hundred marijuana plants on Sunday when they entered a house in Jacarilla to attend a fire. According to sources from the emergency services, the two-storey building was empty when emergency staff arrived at the scene. The Civil Guard is now trying to locate the owner. The marijuana plants were fitted with an irrigation system and lighting for easy cultivation and a spokesman suggested that the flames could have been caused by an electrical short caused by excessive energy consumption. The Bomberas reported that the fire broke out about 2pm on Sundat afternoon and took about an hour to quell the flames and ventilate the building, which had been affected by smoke.

Spanish custom officers seize cigarette packs


SPANISH customs officers in La Linea de la Concepción seized 2,848 packets of cigarettes last weekend, according to press reports. Contraband tobacco was found hidden in three vehicles crossing the border into Spain from Gibraltar. In a fourth case, the bag of a person walking by the Levante area was searched and was found to be carrying 1,000 packets of contraband tobacco.

Brits arrested for drug trafficking on the Baleares



The Organised Crime Squad ECO of the Guardia Civil based on Mallorca completed the second part of an operation against drug trafficking on Sunday. The first part of the operation had been started at the end of August. At that time ten Britons were arrested and on Sunday the ECO agents picked up another ten youngsters of the same nationality. Judicial sources say that seven of the ten were sent to prison in Eivissa, on remand, while two were granted bail of 10,000 € and one was released without bail. Reporting restrictions have been imposed in the case. And in a separate case on Saturday the Guardia Civil have arrested a British man in Sant Antoni, Ibiza found to have 300 ecstasy pills hidden in his hotel room. The investigation is being handled by the Judicial Police of the Guardia Civil. We also have more details about a Guardia Civil drugs raid last Wednesday, also in Sant Antoni, when four homes were searched in the second phase of the Rula operation. 5 kilos of cocaine was recovered along with 5,000 ecstasy pills, and ten more arrests were made. Diario Ibiza reports that all those arrested are men, nearly all of them young and also British, although there are some Irish in the group. Judge Carmen Martín in Instruction Court 3 in Ibiza took their statements on Sunday.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Moroccan cops seize Scot caught with £500k of cannabis resin


holidaymaker is being held in a hell-hole Moroccan jail after being caught in a camper van with £500,000 of hashish. Daniel Healy, 66, was arrested last week as he tried to drive across the border from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The police discovered the 100kg stash of cannabis resin hidden in aluminium boxes stashed in a water tank. Since then, Healy – who is from Glasgow – has spent six nights in the violent and cramped Tetouan prison. Friend Graham Boszormenyi, 46, claimed that Healy was unaware of the hidden drugs. Ex-Royal Navy submariner Graham said: “Daniel is a good friend of mine and I know that he had no knowledge of what he was carrying. “I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he said he plans to plead guilty because he’s been told he’ll only get one year. “But I know the system in Morocco and I don’t believe it for a minute. “I’ve been through this before. Twice they’ve had me in Morocco and I think he could end up getting four to six years – and he’s too old for that. “He’s in the worst prison possible, where there are 60 people in a cell with one shared toilet. “He’s a harmless old man who is known by lots of people around the world. He’s a noisy drunk but he’s not any kind of criminal. “I know the people who are behind this and I think they will help by coming forward to the UK authorities and telling them that he knew nothing about it. “I have spoken to his family in Scotland and they are understandably very worried. “He has been sucker-punched. He had no idea that these people had just used him. It’s backfired on everyone, especially him. “He was travelling under a different name, John McLeish. I don’t know why. He’s due to be tried on Tuesday.” Healy was driving the Spanish- registered camper van when he was stopped on the border between Morocco and Ceuta. He had been expected to get a ferry from Ceuta across the Mediterranean to the Spanish city of Algeciras. Healy’s daughter Siobhan is a celebrated glass artist with a studio in Glasgow’s Dennistoun. The 34-year-old – whose clients include the Scottish government, the BBC and many councils – said: “I don’t know anything about this. “It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing my dad would be involved in.” Officials from the British embassy are expected to make the 215-mile trip from the Moroccan capital Rabat to offer Healy assistance. A US state department report on Moroccan jail conditions said: “They generally did not meet international standards. “Prisons were overcrowded, resulting in poor hygienic conditions and are prone to violence.” A Moroccan police spokesman said: “We arrested a Scottish man and he is now in prison. We can’t tell you anything else.” A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national in Morocco."

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Mijas Fire NOT arson Bonfire


BONFIRE not been properly extinguished near a stream in Entrerrios, Mijas, was the cause of the wildfire which started on Sunday (12th September) night destroying a vast stretch of land. This was the conclusion reached by the regional government’s fire investigation unit, Brigada de Investigacion de Incendios Forestales, on Monday (12th September). Remedios Martel, from the Junta de Andalucia, dismissed rumours suggesting the fire was an act of arson. Five homes were damaged, two of which were completely destroyed by the fire. But witnesses say minor damage has affected several other houses in urbanizations including El Soto de Marbella, Elviria, set in a UNESCO designated nature reserve.   Jan Mansi, former president of Phase 2 at El Soto de Marbella Urbanization described the landscape after the fire as “a skeleton of what it was.” “People mainly come to live in the area for the greenery,” she said. But residents at El Soto should consider themselves very lucky, she said, as the flames spread to just metres from the properties. The blaze affected 6.8 million square metres of in Mijas, Ojen and Marbella – the equivalent of 958 football pitches – according to Infoca, the regional fire department. Around 300 properties were evacuated in these areas but occupants were able to return to their properties on Monday. Twenty five patients at a drug rehabilitation centre in Mijas were also evacuated after the staff were told by Guardia Civil they were at risk due to strong winds, according to Paloma Alonso from the facility. They spent the night at the Las Lagunas sports centre being allowed to return on Monday afternoon. The fire was brought under control at 9am Tuesday, and declared completely extinguished at 10pm. Five hundred people participated in the effort to extinguish the blaze, as well as 11 fire engines, and 22 planes and helicopters. This is the biggest fire in Mijas since 2001 when a car blaze led to a wildfire that affected 700 hectares of land.

Torremolinos shooter pushed wife off Eiffel Tower


THE man, 79, accused of killing another in Torremolinos town centre served time for pushing his wife off the Eiffel Tower in 1963, according to a Spanish daily. He was 31 at the time, she was 28, and they had emigrated to France and were working in a factory on the outskirts of Paris. Although he denied the accusations, he was sentenced to five years in prison. Last week he was arrested for shooting a man of the same age outside the Entreplazas office building in Torremolinos and has since remanded to prison without bail. Apparently some years ago the victim wanted to sell an apartment and spoke to the other man who found him a buyer, although the transaction did not go ahead at the time, but later, in 2006. The shooter asked for commission and although the victim gave him some money, the attacker wanted €12,000, and was sentenced to four years in prison in 2007 for stabbing the buyer. He was released in January 2009 and began to threaten the victim, who reported him to the police last month. When he was caught by police after the shooting he claimed that a bag containing the weapon which he was carrying was not his.

Another shipment of cocaine inside plastic bananas seized in Spain


National Police have seized almost half a ton of cocaine which had been smuggled into Spain hidden inside plastic bananas transported in a normal cargo of the fruit. It’s a method which has been used by drug smugglers before, leading to four arrests after 162 kilos of cocaine were seized at Algeciras Port this January. The Interior Ministry said in a press release on Thursday that the drugs were imported from Ecuador in containers of bananas by an import company which was set up for that purpose in San Roque, Cádiz province. The group is understood to have sent over a number of containers of real fruit from Ecuador before sending the cargo of cocaine. The gang’s rented warehouse in San Roque was kept under surveillance and raided after three containers were transported there at the end of June, where plastic bananas containing 448 kilos of cocaine were discovered amongst the fruit. Three people were later arrested in Roldán, Murcia, and in Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid, followed by a fourth suspect who was taken into custody in August in Alicante.

11 of the 54 prisoners in Menorca jail are British


11 of the 54 prisoners being held in prison on Menorca are British, according to the prison authorities, who says their presence on the island is dependent on the air connections to the UK, which allows family visits to the inmates. The same sources, quoted by, say that none of the Britons have a ‘conflictive’ profile. The jail on the Carretera de Sant Lluís also currently holds 23 prisoners who are of Menorcan origin or who have links to the island. Another 20 are being held ahead of their appearance in court.

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Boxer Scott Harrison released from Spanish jail


SHAMED Scottish boxer Scott Harrison is a free man after being released from a Costa del Sol prison. Harrison, 34, walked free from the notorious Botafuego jail near Algeciras after serving two and a half years for assaulting a policeman, and factory worker Jose Manuel Ortega in 2006. The former WBO title holder was jailed in 2009 for the assault – which took place in Alhaurin el Grande – but could still face extra jail time for another alleged attack in a Costa del Sol brothel in May 2007. He and cousins David McGill, 37, and Edward McGill, 39, were accused of battering bar boss Rafael Sainz Maza, 31, with Harrison facing three counts of assault. Following his release on Saturday, the Glaswegian spent time with his family at an apartment in Estepona’s Albayt Resort before strolling along Bermuda Beach with his fiancee Stacey Gardner, 27, and two-year-old son Jack. The father-of-three returned to the UK on Sunday, flying from Gibraltar in a possible bid to avoid the Spanish airport authorities. In 2009, Harrison told the Olive Press of his determination to rebuild his career once he was released. “I can tell you now that Scott Harrison will be back. I want to repay the fans for the faith they have shown in me,” he said. “I have never been so focussed and determined in my entire life. Being locked up helps develop that. “I’ll have a clean slate – a new start and the determination to show everyone I’m back.”

Marihuana seized in Rincon de la Victoria


LOCAL POLICE in Rincon de la Victoria arrested a 25-year-old man and seized 30 kilos of marihuana from his home. The police estimate that it would have had a street value of more than €30,000.

Gang who tampered with ATM machines caught


 gang of criminals have been arrested by police following a spate of thefts from ATM machines (hole in the wall, cash machines). Police sources have suggested that the arrested had managed to take € 2,420 through 19 illegal “extractions”. The technique involves installing a metal plate over the front of part of the ATM machine, that physically prevented cash being given out. This method of theft is called "cash trapping," so those who were trying to take out cash simply thought the machine was not working, whereas in fact the cash they had requested was sitting behind the installed metal plate awaiting collection by the thieves. When the frustrated person left, the thieves came, removed the plate, and helped themselves to the person’s money. The sites where these crimes occurred were Torrevieja, Pilar de la Horadada, Almoradi and Calpe, although at the moment the Guardia Civil have not ruled out other locations, and believe the gang’s operations may even have stretched into Murcia. When arrested the thieves were in possession of pliers, metal plates, glue, putty, and all essential tools for the installation of the system. This arrest highlights that it is worth checking ATM machines before inserting your card, for signs that it has been tampered with. The metal plate or “cash trapping” technique is the most basic, but there are other more sophisticated devices place over the ATM machine where the card is actually read by a bar code reader installed by a thief, and this can lead to them extracting as much money as you may have available on that card.

Fury over 'link' of drug arrests to Jodie's death


SPANISH police investigating the circumstances surrounding Jodie Nieman's death made nine arrests last week. Although police are certain the Kenley beautician died from a heart attack, it is not clear whether her death was drug-related. ​ MISSED: Jodie Nieman An investigation has been launched into drugs supply in Ibiza and police announced last Thursday that they had arrested nine men after seizing cocaine, thousands of ecstasy pills, steroids and laboratory equipment. One of the men is from Croydon but it is not suggested Ms Nieman, who died just days before her 20th birthday on July 15, knew him. The former nail technician's mother Debbie, of Waterbourne Way, Kenley, said she was "disappointed and angry" Spanish police had linked the arrests with her daughter. She said: "We still don't know if Jodie took any pills. The doctor in Ibiza said they weren't told she had taken any tablets. "Until we have results saying she took any drugs, we just don't know and it is upsetting because we are still waiting on tests." Spanish police said most of the pills found are known as Pink Rock Star, similar to those thought to have caused the death of Ms Nieman and the poisoning of others in July, officers added. The UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency took part in the operation against a mostly-British gang which travelled to Ibiza to feed the demand from the summer influx of clubbers. Detectives arrested five British men, including a 39-year-old from Croydon, three from Ireland and one from Poland. They were being questioned by officers from the Guardia Civil on suspicion of various drugs offences. The former Riddlesdown student was just three days into her holiday when she had a heart attack on a night out at the Space club in the Playa d'en Bossa resort. The teenager's funeral took place at Croydon Crematorium on August 16. Mum Debbie said her 19-year-old daughter was a "stylish princess" who would defend her friends to the end. Ms Nieman added: "She had champagne on the plane over and it came in a plastic glass – Jodie just said: 'Who has champagne in a plastic glass?' "That was just Jodie. Every day another person tells me they knew Jodie and they went to the funeral. I didn't know she was so loved."

Expat fraud suspects arrested in Spanish mountain retreat


According to Spanish local media, police estimate that the couple, known as John and Amanda Treagust, may have netted up to £150,000 by advertising bogus Spanish rental properties, complete with pictures, on their website, Costa Blanca Live. Up to 60 holidaymakers, including Britons, French, Portuguese, Italians and Belgians, are alleged to have fallen for the scam and paid upfront for properties that weren't, in reality, available for rent, or had been rented out to multiple people. The pair ran a blog entitled Life on the Costa Blanca, and boasted of growing their business from a "small project" in 2007 to "a busy and bustling company.....with over five thousand properties managed directly by us, meaning you have the peace of mind that should anything go wrong, or should you have any concerns, we are here to help." Amanda Treagust, referred to as the company's commercial director, is described on the blog as "never resting until her clients are settled into that perfect property and are enjoying the Spanish lifestyle she has come to love and adore". The Treagusts were arrested at a small property in the mountains of Mojacar, Almeria, after an eight-month police operation following an initial complaint lodged back in February. Originally from the Chorley area of Lancashire, John Treagust used to run the Last Orders pub in Wallagate, Wigan. On the pub's Facebook page, created by Treagust, he says: "I had three happy years there, now running a property business in Spain." An online forum about the couple's business dates back to March 2009 and has been inundated with 23 pages of comment, containing more than 200 threads. One comment, posted on August 20 this year, read: "13 girls put down a deposit for a hen weekend away in a villa in Los Balcones also and were informed two days before that the villa was double-booked. As it was a special occasion we have to find somewhere else very quickly and pay the additional fees. "We have still not received any money back and are still chasing. We all want to take action and stop others suffering in the same way." Spanish police were unable to comment on the ongoing investigation.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Spanish police retrieve diamond swallowed by thief



Spanish police have foiled an attempted robbery from a British woman, after discovering a stolen diamond inside a man's stomach. The woman's handbag - which contained cash and a diamond pendant worth 12,000 euros (£10,500) - was taken as she dined in a restaurant in Marbella. The suspects were caught four hours later with most of the loot. But it took three days to retrieve the most valuable item, the diamond, after one of the men swallowed it. The woman had been sitting in the Marbella restaurant with a friend when two smartly dressed men entered - one of the men taking the table behind the women. Some time later the women realised that both men had disappeared along with the handbag, which contained 2,000 euros and £500 in cash as well as the diamond and other valuables. At 18:00 the same day police were conducting a routine vehicle check about 50km (30 miles) up the coast in Torremolinos when they spotted four men, known to have criminal records for robbery. Their suspicions raised, they inspected the vehicle and discovered jewellery and a woman's purse containing British currency and ID documents. But it was the sight of a suspect raising his hand to his mouth that drew the attention of one sharp-eyed officer. He guessed the man was swallowing some of the evidence. All four suspected thieves were promptly taken to a local clinic, where X-rays revealed a diamond, minus the chain it once hung from, inside one of their stomachs. The British woman was reunited with most of her possessions that same evening. But she only received the precious jewel three days later. According to police spokeswoman Ana Moreno in Torremolinos: "It was retrieved in the simplest and most natural way."

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Smuggler Tosses Passengers Off Jet Ski


Spanish police say a human smuggler trying to sneak two Moroccans into Spain by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar on a jet ski threw them into the water when detected by coastal authorities and that one drowned. A Civil Guard statement Tuesday said the incident happened Sept. 9 near the Spanish town of Tarifa. The Moroccan driver has been charged with negligent manslaughter. One of the travelers managed to swim ashore after being dumped 500 meters from it, but the other did not survive. Spain is a lure for poor North and sub-Saharan Africans because it is Europe's southern gateway. Every year, thousands try to reach the Spanish mainland or Spain's Canary Islands off the coast of west Africa.



An ongoing investigation dating back well over a year continues after a local man aged 73 was arrested last week and remanded on Friday on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant. On Thursday officers of the RGP arrested Angel Vella of No. 7 Maidstone House. The warrant issued by the Portuguese authorities is for alleged offences of conspiracy to import 6000 kilos of cannabis resin into Portugal. Vella appeared before the Magistrates Court on Friday where he was remanded in custody until September 19. Vella, who was granted legal aid and is represented by Carl Rammage, did not agree to being surrendered to the Portuguese authorities. In court the Portuguese Government was represented by Crown Counsel Karina Khubchand of the International Division EU International Department of the Government of Gibraltar.


Businessmen guilty of £8m "boiler room" shares scam share-selling was undertaken by salesmen working from Marbella and Barcelona,


share-selling was undertaken by salesmen working from Marbella and Barcelona, although many of them used false names and claimed to be calling from offices in Frankfurt, Stockholm or Amsterdam. The SFO said the business prospects of the company were inflated by WBR’s directors and salesmen. WBR eventually went into adminstration in 2007 following a petition by creditors. It is now officially in liquidation. Of the £8.2m attracted from investors, about £4m ended up in off-shore accounts in Cyprus, Jersey and Spain, the SFO said. It began its investigation after complaints from people who bought shares. WBR was later included on a warning list published by the Financial Services Authority. SFO director Richard Alderman said: “Boiler room fraudsters prey on vulnerable people, they also deprive genuine businesses of the capital they need to grow. Quite bluntly, they ruin lives. I am delighted that the SFO is playing its part in bringing down operations like these and bringing fraudsters to book

Monday, 12 September 2011

Spanish-based Seven guilty of 'boiler-room' fraud


Seven men were convicted today of an £8 million boiler-room fraud, the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) said. The Spanish-based operation targeted thousands of investors in the UK applying high pressure telesales techniques to push shares in a bio-diesel company, Worldwide Bio Refineries (WBR). In fact, the company was practically worthless. One defendant, company director Redmond Johnson, 66, pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud investors. Fellow director Dennis Potter, 72, who lived in Singapore, was convicted of the conspiracy along with John Murphy, 35, and Greg Pearson, 38, both of Marbella, Daniel Murphy, 37, and Lee Homan, 37, both of Hertfordshire, and Peter Bibby, 44, of south London, who all managed share sales. Bibby absconded before the Ipswich Crown Court trial and was convicted in his absence. There is a warrant for his arrest. Commenting on the convictions, SFO director Richard Alderman said: "This is an excellent result. Not only do boiler-room fraudsters prey on vulnerable people, they also deprive genuine businesses of the capital they need to grow. "Quite bluntly, they ruin lives. I am delighted that the SFO is playing its part in tracking down operations like these and bringing fraudsters to book." WBR was set up in 2003 and had a processing plant in County Durham that was purported to produce diesel fuel from vegetable matter. It also had a plant in Singapore producing diesel intended to be marketed in the UK. The share selling was undertaken by salesmen working from a number of boiler-rooms in Marbella and Barcelona although many of them used false names and claimed to be calling from offices Frankfurt, Stockholm or Amsterdam. The business prospects of the company and the bio-diesel market were inflated by WBR's directors and the salesmen, who claimed that substantial international business was being done and that the business's shares were valued at £110 million. Investors believed that their investment in a successful bio-diesel enterprise would net them significant short-term returns, bolstered by claims that WBR was to be floated on the stock market. These claims were bogus. The SFO found that the bio-diesel plant had no output and, with only limited imports coming from the Singapore plant, WBR was not being managed with any intention of it becoming a growing commercial success. Virtually all of WBR's revenue between 2005 and 2007 was generated by share sales. Of the £8.2 million attracted from investors, around £4 million was transferred to accounts in Cyprus, Jersey and Spain for the benefit of the boiler-room salesmen. The group will be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on September 23.

Rejuvenated Kinahan network 'back in trafficking'-


AN international drug trafficking network, built by Ireland's wealthiest criminal Christy Kinahan, is back in business, gardai believe. Operation Shovel, the European police crackdown that emanated from the work of the Garda National Drugs Unit (GNDU), dismantled the multi-million euro empire. But officers say that the gang members have "re-invented" themselves and are using old contacts in Spain, the Netherlands and Belgium to renew their role in drug trafficking. Kinahan (53) is regarded by gardai as being in the top tier of drug traffickers in the European league. "He's a 'Premiership' player," one officer said. "There is no doubt that Shovel caused major disruption of their lucrative business. But a leopard doesn't change its spots and we don't expect these people to undergo a conversion on the road to Damascus." Officers say co-operation between law enforcement agencies in Europe is "second to none and allows gardai to focus on Irish organised crime gangs (OCGs) involved in trafficking drugs that end up in Ireland". "Drug trafficking has always been a borderless crime for the gangs but now it is more or less borderless for us as the co-operation allows us to overcome former legal obstacles. "Law enforcement groups can reach out and take them, no matter who they are or where they are," the officer said. The mayhem created by Operation Shovel is partly responsible for the reduction in drug shipments coming into the country. "It's hard to quantify how much is due to Shovel and other intelligence successes and to the reduced demand arising from the recession." The fatal shooting of Eamon Dunne last year has also had an impact on the trafficking scene here and it has taken his old gang time to regroup after the murder. Not all of them have stayed together, but gardai are satisfied that some of them are again operating as an OCG even if the gang is not as potent as before the murder and does not represent the same threat. Others are keeping a lower profile and detectives say the personnel changes among the gangs have become very fluid. The GNDU does not operate on the basis of a Mr Big or Number One target. "We focus on certain figures, based on intelligence, public need and resources, but we don't respond to public outcry. A lot of the time we are dealing with relative unknowns, who can become big in the future," the officer said. The profits built up by gang leaders from drug trafficking and other crimes are assessed by the Criminal Assets Bureau. But many of those who make the headlines and live flash lifestyles in pubs and clubs, driving fast cars and surrounding themselves with "models", usually end up with little money at the end of their short-lived careers.

Freddie Thompson has spent most of the previous 15 months in England, returning only for brief visits to Dublin and the gang violence in the south city had reduced


Freddie Thompson has spent most of the previous 15 months in England, returning only for brief visits to Dublin and the gang violence in the south city had reduced. It is believed he was concerned that he would be arrested and extradited to Spain after Spanish police said they had issued a warrant for his arrest and extradition at the time of a series of high- profile raids in May last year on the mainly Irish gang led by Dubliner Christy Kinahan, who has been living in Estepona, Spain. However, the warrant has not been sent to gardai even though they have informed the Spanish authorities of his presence here. Thompson had been staying in Estepona up until shortly before the launching of Europe-wide raids aimed at the organisation, which Spanish, British and Europol police said was headed by Kinahan. There were 78 raids including 45 here, 21 in Spain and 12 in Britain. Some 34 people were arrested and €1m in cash seized. Spanish police said their criminal assets agency was investigating properties worth millions including a holiday resort in Brazil. Thompson was questioned in February 2007 when his associate, Paddy Doyle, 27, from Dublin was shot dead in Estepona but Thompson was not at the scene and it is thought the murder was carried out by Turkish mafia.

Christy Kinahan offered €60,000 to have him whacked


GANGLAND hardman Martin Foley has taken to his bike in a bid to dodge another assassination attempt. ''The Viper' is paranoid about car bombs and hitmen outside his Dublin home after 'Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan offered €60,000 to have him whacked. Each morning Foley, who has survived four murder bids already, checks for hidden devices under his car and is now cycling instead of driving himself. And the Viper is not the only gangland tough guy under siege this weekend. Violent mob boss 'Fat' Freddie Thompson is holed up at his mother's house after it was firebombed by rivals who want him dead. Thompson has even gone to the gardai looking for protection as the feud threatens to explode. Viper's Vicious Cycle MARTIN 'The Viper' Foley has been warned that his life is in serious danger after 'The Dapper Don' Christy Kinahan put a €60,000 bounty on his head.

Mouse ('Raton') has already killed two people this year at Spanish bull-dodging events

Raton, Mouse, killer bull, Sueca
. Photograph: Alberto Saiz/AP

A half-tonne Spanish bull drew crowds of fans to the eastern town of Sueca on Sunday after building up a reputation as the biggest killer in the popular summer game of bull-dodging.

The bull, called Ratón, meaning mouse, was appearing for the first time since goring a man to death in the nearby town of Xátiva on 15 August.

Debate has raged in newspapers over the exact number of people killed by Ratón, who is let loose in bullrings where people are encouraged to jump in and taunt him.

He is known to have gored a 30-year-old man to death in Xátiva, and to have killed a man in Puerto de Sagunto in 2006. Reports that he had killed a third man in 2004, in the village of Benifairó de les Valls, were denied by the mayor.

Bull-dodging is popular in many summer village and town fiestas. In parts of eastern Valencia and Catalonia, bulls sometimes have flaming torches attached to their horns to enrage them further. Unlike in traditional bullfights, however, there is no matador and the animal lives on, getting wiser and more dangerous as he becomes more experienced.

Eleven-year-old Ratón's fame as the deadliest of fiesta bulls has made him one of the most expensive to hire, with prices reaching €15,000 for a single appearance.

The bull was greeted in Sueca by cheering crowds and music from the soundtrack of Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More.

Professional bull-dodgers and local amateurs baited the animal and ran in front of him for half an hour. The town hall delegated a group of experienced runners to stop drunks joining in, and police had to bundle off two people, according to the local Levante newspaper.

Bull games at local fiestas claim up to half a dozen lives across Spainevery summer.

"Ratón showed, once more, both exceptional agility and intelligence," Levante reported after noting that the sellout crowd of 2,700 people had witnessed no bloodshed.

But some politicians have called for Ratón to be banned and for stricter control of those who try bull-dodging under the influence of drink or drugs. "Someone must be held responsible if this happens again," said Marina Albiol, an MP for the United Left party in the regional parliament of Valencia. "The only reason the town hall at Sueca has hired this bull is to encourage cruelty and ghoulishness."

The town hall replied that it had hired Ratón because he belonged to a local farmer. "That way the bull can say a final goodbye to its hometown, as he is due to retire soon," a statement said.

The bull's owner, Gregorio de Jesús, wants Ratón to follow the example of Got, a fighting bull who was cloned recently.

The bull is due to appear at two more fiestas this summer.

Bullfights with matadors are to be banned in eastern Catalonia at the end of this year, but bull-dodging will remain legal.

Ratón's re-appearance in Sueca proved a draw for local media, with half a dozen television stations and some 40 radio and newspaper reporters in attendance.

The bull also has his own travelling fans. One of them, Manuel Martin, has Ratón's head tattooed on his right arm. "Now I'm going to have the whole animal tattooed on my leg," he told El País

Harrison, 34 — caged for a vicious assault — bulked up during his 2½ years behind bars in a nick on the Costa del Sol before being released yesterday.


And the ex-WBO title holder was so determined to return to his past glory he began sparring with dad Peter, 62, in the garden of his apartment within hours of being freed.

Harrison also showed off his super-fit physique as he strolled with fiancée Stacey Gardner, 27, and toddler Jack in the resort of Estepona.

And the star, who has battled a booze problem, vowed: "I will be World Champ again. Nobody's going to stop me. One thousand per cent.

"What keeps me going is my children and my family. I'm going to be the champ again for them."

He also told a pal just before being released from the maximum security Botafuego nick that he had ditched drinking for good.

He said every day of his horror ordeal inside the Spanish prison system had been "hell" — and admitted he had caused his own downfall.

He added: "I promise I will never go back to the way I was. I don't know who that person was — but it wasn't me. This is me now, and I am going to be back on top."


Tasting freedom ... the boxer leaves prison with belongings on Saturday and at Gibraltar airport yesterday
Tasting freedom ... the boxer leaves prison with belongings on Saturday and at Gibraltar airport yesterday


The troubled ace, from Glasgow's Gorbals area, walked out of the notorious jail three miles from coastal town Algeciras

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Woman stabbed to death in Marbella


47 year old woman was found stabbed to death inside a flat in Marbella on Saturday. The woman had Spanish nationality but was of Ecuadorian origin. Reports indicate the victim did not live in the flat in San Pedro de Alcántara where her body was found, but she was a frequent visitor. Police sources say there was a lot of blood at the scene and she had been stabbed more than a dozen times. Some 20 National Police have taken over the investigation of the case, and reports are that they are considering it a crime of passion. Neighbours say the woman worked as a prostitute, inviting her clients to the flat. They note that there was no forced entry to the flat. Last August 11th, another woman, aged 45 and of Argentinean origin was found stabbed in a flat in nearby Mijas. That case remains open and is being investigated by the Guardia Civil.

Three Britons face a total of 27 years in prison for drug trafficking


Málaga Prosecutors’ Office has asked for a total of 27 years in prison for three British men who are accused of trafficking in cocaine. The three, who also face a 3.6 million € fine each, were found with some 15 kilos of the drugs, and one of them is also accused of document falsification for being found with fake passports. The value of the drugs intervened has been estimated at 900,000 €. Europa Press reports that the provisional conclusions of the prosecutor reveal that one of the men was caught by the National Police in Alsasua, Navarra ‘when he was transporting 15 packets of the drug in a rucksack, while driving an articulated lorry. The prosecution alleges that the transport had been agreed with the other two Britons, and the three had intended to sell the drugs to a third party. The oral hearing for the case is expected to get underway in Section Nine of the Provincial Court in Málaga on the 14th of this month.

Spanish police said their criminal assets agency was investigating properties worth millions including a holiday resort in Brazil.


Dissident republican crime gangs in Dublin have split and are feuding in ways similar to the bloody factionalising of the remnants of the terror group the Irish National Liberation Amy (INLA) in the late Eighties and Nineties. Since former Real IRA man Liam Kenny, 53, was shot dead at his home in Chapelizod, Dublin, in June a series of serious incidents including several attempted murders have taken place. Kenny, a former Provisional IRA member had been a member of the Real IRA in Dublin but fell out with other members after it split acrimoniously into two factions in the city. Last Wednesday, an associate of Kenny's, Frank Nolan, 49, was shot and seriously injured when a teenager on a bicycle pulled up beside him at Oranmore Road in Ballyfermot and shot him at close range. There had been a pipe bomb attack on Nolan's home in July. Nolan, who served a term of imprisonment for reckless endangerment in an incident in which a man was shot in the thigh in a Ballyfermot pub in 2000, is recovering in hospital. The incident has created more tension and gardai expect there were will be more attacks. The reasons for the attack were not clear but gardai say there had been a public meeting of republicans last weekend and threats had apparently been exchanged afterwards. It is believed that after his row with his former dissident republican associates, Liam Kenny left the Real IRA faction and moved to the group styling itself as the Continuity IRA. This group has now split in two as well, with one group led by a Limerick man in his late fifties but with support in Dublin and which is opposed to another faction also still styling itself with the same name based in Dublin. In traditional republican style, the various groups send coded claims to newspapers making allegations and threats against each other, followed by counter-claims that the initial statements were from "gangsters" or "drug dealers" and not republicans. This is exactly what went on when the INLA went into its finally destructive round of feuding in the late Eighties. All the Dublin dissident groups are aligned in one way or another with the city's drug gangs and gardai are concerned that they are adding an extra dimension to the already violent state of organised crime in the city. The investigation into Kenny's murder has become highly complicated with detectives trying to work out the reasons behind the killing as Kenny was at odds with not only his former dissident associates but also with drug dealers in the west of the city. There was initially suspicion last week that there might be a dissident link to the murder of Thomas McDonagh, 49, a traveller shot dead at his caravan in Ballymun last Saturday night. Gardai have known for some time of tensions between Traveller and settled gangs in north Dublin and believe that Travellers have been selling pipe bombs to both ordinary criminal and dissident republican gangs. However, Mr McDonagh was not involved in these activities and is believed to have been murdered by a Finglas-based gang of settled criminals involved in the drugs trade and in armed robberies including tiger kidnappings. It is believed he had been involved in drug dealing and had a heroin problem and was shot because of an unpaid debt of €15,000. One of the main current concerns among gardai in Dublin is the re-emergence of the gangland figure Freddie Thompson following a fire-bomb attack on his mother's house in the Coombe area. Gardai in the Dublin South Central Division have been on high alert since the attack on the home of Lisa Thompson, who has no involvement in criminal activity, but is believed to have been targeted by her son's rivals. Freddie Thompson had spent most of the previous 15 months in England, returning only for brief visits to Dublin and the gang violence in the south city had reduced. It is believed he was concerned that he would be arrested and extradited to Spain after Spanish police said they had issued a warrant for his arrest and extradition at the time of a series of high- profile raids in May last year on the mainly Irish gang led by Dubliner Christy Kinahan, who has been living in Estepona, Spain. However, the warrant has not been sent to gardai even though they have informed the Spanish authorities of his presence here. Thompson had been staying in Estepona up until shortly before the launching of Europe-wide raids aimed at the organisation, which Spanish, British and Europol police said was headed by Kinahan. There were 78 raids including 45 here, 21 in Spain and 12 in Britain. Some 34 people were arrested and €1m in cash seized. Spanish police said their criminal assets agency was investigating properties worth millions including a holiday resort in Brazil. Thompson was questioned in February 2007 when his associate, Paddy Doyle, 27, from Dublin was shot dead in Estepona but Thompson was not at the scene and it is thought the murder was carried out by Turkish mafia

Spanish warship rescues French hostage from pirates


Troops from a Spanish warship stormed a pirate skiff in the Gulf of Aden Saturday and rescued a French hostage missing from her yacht but found no trace of her husband, the EU anti-piracy mission said. As a helicopter kept watch overhead, naval commandos in a fast launch fired on the skiff to disable its engine. The boat sank, but the hostage was rescued and seven pirates were arrested unharmed, the Spanish defence ministry said. "She was the only hostage on board the skiff. Her husband was not on board," EU naval spokesman Captain Paul Gelly told AFP, confirming the rescued hostage was Evelyne Colombo, wife and crewmate of missing sailor Christian Colombo. "She is safe and sound," he said, explaining that Colombo and the detained pirates are now on board the Spanish ship. A German warship, the FGS Bayern, found the couple's catamaran the Tribal Kat, adrift in waters off Yemen on Thursday. There was no-one on board and the EU Atalanta naval command launched an air and sea search for the attackers. French officials said there were signs of a struggle on board the yacht, which was towed to Djibouti to be studied by agents from the DGSE spy agency. "It was like searching for a needle in a haystack," Gelly said. "Our priority was to search for any vessel that might have been leaving the area and heading for the coast of Somalia." The French frigate Surcouf detected a suspect vessel and on Saturday the Spanish warship SPS Galicia chased it down. The Spanish defence ministry said when the skiff ignored an order to stop, the commander of the Galicia ordered his men to open fire. "At that time, it was discovered that they had a hostage on board, who was a woman," it said. "The amphibious ship proceeded to intercept the pirate vessel. The operation involved a helicopter and naval warfare team, who fired on the engine of the boat, to disable it." Christian Colombo is a former French navy crewman and the couple were experienced sailors who wanted to see the world and were passing through the Gulf of Aden en route for the Indian Ocean and eventually Thailand. "They knew they were taking a risk and everyone advised them not to go," a relative told AFP. One of the couple's daughters, Emilie, posted a message of concern on the blog they were keeping of their high seas adventure. "The last I heard from Christian was around a month ago. He was south of Egypt and heading for Malaysia," said the skipper's friend Gerard Navarin, who once helped him set a catamaran speed record off Toulon. The waters between Yemen and Somalia are notorious for attacks by pirate gangs, and French yachts have been among the vessels seized in the past. A second yacht went missing at around the same time as the Tribal Kat. Somali pirates frequently seize crew from merchant ships and pleasure craft in the dangerous waters off the conflict-ravaged Horn of Africa and have taken millions of dollars in ransom for their release. According to the watchdog Ecoterra, at least 50 vessels and at least 528 hostages are being held by Somali pirates, despite constant patrols by warships from several world powers. A French couple was kidnapped from a yacht in September 2008 as it headed through the Gulf of Aden. A ransom was paid, but French commandos later ambushed the pirates, killed one, captured six more and recovered the cash. In April 2009, another French yacht was seized. This time special forces troops intervened when the boat was still at sea. In the ensuing gunbattle a French bullet accidentally killed the hostage skipper. In addition, a French DGSE agent is thought to have been held hostage by Islamist militants in the Somali capital since July 2009

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Rapist of British girl gets two year prison sentence


22 year old Bolivian man, Hernán Jesús V.A. has been given a two year prison sentence for the rape of a British woman on January 27 2007. The Murcia provincial court also ruled that he must compensate the victim with 12,000 €. Hernán Jesús admitted his guilt to the court which must now decide whether to replace the two year prison sentence with extradition from Spain. The rape took place in the doorway of the woman’s home, and the victim was hit hard twice in the face as the rape was carried out. Finally the British victim tricked her attacker by inviting him to her room to continue the relations, managing to get inside and lock the door to escape. Hermán Jesús told the court on Thursday that all he wants to do is forget the episode. He said that he has made the most of the time he has been held on remand by doing courses on cooking, computing and other subjects. He accepted the sentence telling the court – ‘I am no delinquent, and all I want to do is forget this and spend every minute with my family’.

Body found in car boot in Vilalba, Lugo


The Guardia Civil found a body in the boot of a parked Seat Toledo car in Vilalba at 10pm on Friday. They had been alerted to the body by a local resident who noticed the strong smell, and the body was found to be in an advanced state of decomposition. The car was parked close to the bus station in Vilalba, Lugo, and locals have said it had been there for some time. First indications are that the body is male. A full investigation has been opened by the Lugo Judicial Police to first establish the identity of the victim, and then the circumstances of his death.

Pensioner shot dead on a bench in Torremolinos


man in his seventies is under arrest after shooting a 79 year old man dead while he was sitting chatting with a friend on a public bench in Torremolinos. It happened in broad daylight at around 7 on Wednesday evening in the Plaza Costa del Sol in the town centre. The victim, 79 year old from Ciudad Real who Málaga Hoy newspaper said has a holiday apartment in Torremolinos, was shot at point blank range in the back of the head. His killer is a man from Cádiz province who lives locally and has a previous criminal record. He was arrested near the scene shortly afterwards, still carrying with him in a bag the shotgun he had used for the murder. There is no clear motive for the murder as yet, although friends of the victim said it could have been an argument over the sale of a property. There are unconfirmed reports from Público that it was an argument over a game of dominoes.

Police today said they have smashed the biggest gang of drug dealers targeting British revellers on the party island of Ibiza.

Nine Britons were among 13 suspects held in a series of dawn raids by armed officers in a massive operation backed by Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency.

Among the drugs seized were 3,600 ecstasy pills from the same batch believed to have killed British holidaymaker Jodie Nieman, 20, on the Spanish island in July.

Arrests: Nine Britons were among 13 suspected drug dealers held in a series of dawn raids by armed officers in Ibiza

Arrests: Nine Britons were among 13 suspected drug dealers (pictured here) held in a series of dawn raids by armed officers in Ibiza

Officers also confiscated 4 kilos of cocaine, 5 kilos of MDMA powder, 53 grams of cannabis resin, 300 doses of anabolic steroids, 69,000 euros (£60,000) in cash and scales for weighing drugs.

The operation, codenamed Rula, was run by the Civil Guard's Organised Crime Squad.

The force released photographs of some of suspects, handcuffed behind their backs, following the raids.




The Civil Guard said in a statement: 'The majority of the pills seized are known as Pink Rock Stars, similar in appearance, colour and design to those thought to have caused the death of a young British woman and the poisoning of eight other people in July in Ibiza.'

The suspects appeared before an investigating magistrate and most were remanded in custody while the probe continues. They have not yet been charged with any offence.

The Civil Guard statement continued: 'This operation has completely dismantled the most active group of British drug dealers in Ibiza.

Jodie Nieman
Seized: The drugs

Suspected: Among the drugs seized (right) were ecstasy pills from the same batch believed to have killed Jodie Nieman in July 

'Those under arrest are members of the most active organisation on the island, the principal supplier of cocaine and other designer drugs around nightclubs.

'The investigation started with information obtained through the dismantling of other groups, mostly British, dedicated to dealing drugs on the island.

'The now dismantled group came to Ibiza during the summer to cater for the high demand for drugs that exists during the holiday period.'

On July 22 police arrested an alleged member of the gang carrying one kg of MDMA powder as he stepped off a flight from the UK at Ibiza airport.

Five of the raids took place on August 28 around the popular party resort of San Antonio. 

Evidence: Police arrested nine Brits - from Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth and Croydon, south London - as well as three Irishmen and one Polish man

Evidence: Police arrested nine Brits - from Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth and Croydon, south London - as well as three Irishmen and one Polish man

The other three happened on the same day near Sant Josep, on the south west of the island.

Police arrested nine Brits - from Liverpool, Manchester, Plymouth and Croydon, south London - as well as three Irishmen and one Polish man.

Magistrate Maria Risueno took statements from the suspects at the Court of Investigation number 1 in Ibiza.

She bailed one man and remanded the other 12 in custody on Monday night.

Three were told they would be released if they could raise 10,000 euros (£8,700) each for bail.

The magistrate imposed a secrecy order on the case and the court refused to reveal the names of those arrested.

Nail technician Jodie Nieman, from Croydon, collapsed at Space nightclub while on holiday with friends on July 13.

She died after being rushed to the island's Can Misses hospital. Her friends told police she had taken one pink ecstasy tablet mixed with alcohol.

Toxicology tests are still being carried out. Eight other clubbers were treated in the same hospital that night.

Counting out: 69,000 euros in cash was found during the raids

Counting out: 69,000 euros in cash was found during the raids

Spanish police have smashed the drug ring that is believed to have supplied Kenley teenager Jodie Nieman with the ecstasy


Spanish police have smashed the drug ring that is believed to have supplied Kenley teenager Jodie Nieman with the ecstasy tablet that probably killed her. Mark Adrian Whitley, 39 from Croydon, was among 13 suspected drug dealers arrested by police last Thursday in Ibiza where the 19-year-old died in July. Spanish police confirmed the majority of the pills seized in the raids were Pink Rock Star, the same type believed to have killed Miss Nieman. It is thought the dodgy pills were also responsible for poisoning eight other individuals in Ibiza over the summer. Police said the drug ring was the biggest British group operating on the island and had now been "completely dismantled". Officers from Spain’s Civil Guard, supported by British officers from the Serious Organised Crime Agency, raided eight properties across the party island. As part of Operation Rula, police confiscated £60,500 in various currencies, 4kg of cocaine, 3,600 MDMA pills, 53g of hashish and 300 doses of anabolic steroids. There were also precision scales, mobile phones and other drug-related paraphernalia in the addresses. A Civil Guard spokesman said: "This one of the most active gangs on the island which is the main supplier of cocaine and other designer drugs around the clubs and bars. "Enquiries were carried out on the basis of intelligence obtained by the Guardia Civil after other gangs involved in drugs trafficking on the island were dismantled. "The majority of these gangs were British and took advantage of the influx of young people during the summer. "The gang, which is now dismantled, only travelled to Ibiza in summer to meet the large demand for drugs on the island during this period. "When some of the drugs were running short, other gangs based in the UK would send new batches via different methods." Miss Nieman, a nail technician at Nails To Be Seen in Warlingham, was holidaying with friends when she fell unconscious at the Space nightclub in the Playa d'en Bossa resort on July 13. She died of a suspected heart attack, with friends admitting to Spanish police they had taken ecstasy. But Croydon Coroner’s Court has ordered a second investigation into the cause of Miss Nieman’s sudden death. Miss Nieman’s mother Debbie and her partner Simon Atkar, along with her brother Mark, recently visited the island to see where the teenager had died and to bring her body home. Her funeral was held on August 16 at Croydon Crematorium but her mother discovered Spanish police had removed the girl’s heart for tests. The family have been told it could be six months until results of the tests, which might give a conclusive cause of death, come back.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Kicking in shop windows. Setting a police car on fire. Clashes with police. Tottenham? Hackney? Brixton? No. Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava.


Kicking in shop windows. Setting a police car on fire. Clashes with police. Tottenham? Hackney? Brixton? No. Lloret de Mar on the Costa Brava. Last month police fired rubber bullets – but not at rioting Spaniards but at drunk foreigners. After two nights of riots that dragged on until the early hours, there were 20 injured, including nine police officers, and 20 arrests. Significantly – in a city of 40,000 with 25 discos, 261 bars and approximately a million tourists a year – all those detained were foreigners. Now, it’s only a small minority of Spanish resorts that have this problem with drunk foreigners and for every Lloret del Mar, there are hundreds of other resorts where peace reigns. But we have to remember that it was the British, after all, who created many of the bars and discos on the Costa Brava, not the Spanish. The exchange rates were low and everything was cheap. Freddy Laker organised cheap flights and Wallace Arnold cheap coach tours. In the late 60s, many hotels, bars, restaurants and nightclub/ discos were British-owned. The intention was to create a Blackpool with sunshine (and chip shops and … pubs). For decades it worked well but then, as in Blackpool, the clients changed. Spain, too, after the death of Franco. The Guardia Civil and local police lost some of their powers. Somehow the Spanish now need to strike a balance between tourism and civic order but the current economic climate makes that increasingly difficult. Binge drinking is definitely frowned upon and discouraged in the UK. But there’s a whole raft of British teenagers who leave what little common sense they have back at the airport and, when they touch down at some Spanish party town, immediately get blind drunk, in the belief they can get away with even more immoral/ anti-social behaviour abroad because ‘out of sight’ means ‘out of mind’. It’s these same people who get drunk on a Saturday night in English city-centres who go to Spain for longer and cheaper drinking hours. Some attribute this anti-social behaviour to a lack of discipline at all stages of a teenager’s development. British parents can’t smack young children, teachers can’t punish those who behave anti-socially and the UK police are tied up with human rights law. So, drunk teenagers believe they can carry on getting away with it. All of which could, unfortunately, go on longer than those DFS sales …

The alleged killers of a British teenager stabbed to death at a holiday resort in the Costa Brava have been extradited to face justice in Spain.

Andrew Milroy, 15, died of a single knife wound to the chest in the seaside town of Lloret de Mar on July 17.

Police named the suspects only as Remi Romai A. and Jeremy P. - a plumber and a mechanic both aged 21.

Andrew Milroy and two friends had tried to break up a 3.30am brawl between a gang of young French tourists. 

But instead, the youths turned on them in a shopping centre in the resort popular with thousands of British holidaymakers every year, it is alleged.

A nearby hotel security guard called police after being alerted by the boys' friends. 

When ambulance workers arrived, they found Mr Milroy lying in a pool of blood in an alleyway by a clothes shop.

He died after being rushed to Sant Jaume Hospital in the nearby town of Blanes, 25 miles north of Barcelona.

His attackers had fled before emergency services reached the scene.
Spanish police later identified two of the youths from CCTV footage, and then managed to find their names from local hotel bookings.


They passed the information on to French police, who swooped on the pair in their home town of L'Isle-d'Abeau, near Lyon, ten days ago.

Tourist spot: Andrew was a resident of Lloret de Mar in Costa Brava, which is popular with holidaymakers

Tourist spot: Andrew was a resident of Lloret de Mar in Costa Brava, which is popular with holidaymakers

Lloret de Mar map

A French judicial source said: ‘The Spanish police were able to identify the three youths through witness statements and video surveillance cameras.

‘Their names were then established from the bookings they had made for accommodation in resort.

‘This information was passed to us and arrests were made.’ 

Lyon prosecutor Jacqueline Dufournet confirmed today: ‘The two young men have been transferred by plane to Spain.

'They are now in the hands of the authorities there and the Spanish legal process will now run its course.' 

Michel Tallent, the lawyer for the mechanic, added: ‘It seems there was a fight on the night in question, but it is not clear who started it.' 

Andrew was born in Spain after his parents Jackie and Andy Milroy emigrated there 26 years ago.

The family run a popular US-style diner called Route 66 in the resort.
Mrs Milroy, originally from Richmond, Surrey, told French daily Le Parisien after learning of the arrests: ‘We are devastated at the loss of our son, but now very relieved at the arrests.  

'Of course my son will not be coming back but at least those responsible have been caught.

'The police have done very well considering how few leads they had to go on.

'I now await their trial and believe they should each go to prison for at least 30 years.'

Mr Milroy's death sparked outrage among locals, who said that children should have been protected from increasingly violent holidaymakers on cheap package tours.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...