Monday, 28 November 2011

Two hikers taking a morning stroll on Ibiza with their dogs have found a chopped body in a rubbish bag

Two hikers taking a morning stroll on Ibiza with their dogs have found a chopped body in a rubbish bag near to the San José football ground.
It’s thought that recent heavy rains could have made the buried bag visible.

The dogs went down a small stream while their owners stayed back and called them, but when the animals failed to return, something that does not normally happen, they went to investigate and found what the dogs had found. One of the dogs was already carrying a small human bone in his mouth.

The Guardia Civil was called and the judicial police are now investigating the remains of the chopped up human body.

The Guardia Civil is yet to identify the victim, and to confirm the remains are of a single human being. First idea in the case is that it is a settling of scores, probably drug related.

There are a few people reported missing on the island, including the Adolfo Linares, a priest from Ampuero Cantabria who has been searched for on Ibiza since July, and there is also a missing businessman, Lorenzo Sarti.

Police have revealed that the body shows signs of being tortured and beaten and it seems was tied down with a rope around the neck.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

National Police has arrested a British citizen, a 39 year old from Liverpool, for allegedly causing serious injuries to a compatriot, breaking his tibia and fibula of a leg.

  The Briton also was found with unlicensed firearms and in addition two top of the range vehicles with false plates have been recovered. It’s thought they were stolen in the U.K.

Investigations in the case started on October 3 after the aggression which took place at 4pm in an urbanisation in Marbella. National Police say in a statement that the wounded man was taken to hospital but did not want to talk about what had happened, despite his injuries.

However police investigations and eyewitness reports allowed them to establish that the aggressor was known to the victim. Finally he was arrested at his home in Benahvis.

Inside the house they recovered a pistol with the registration number filed off, and holding a bullet in the chamber. Plus there was a charger with 10 projectiles, gas spray, and an extendable cane truncheon. All the weapons were considered as prohibited and the two cars he used were found to have been stolen in the U.K.

Scientific police are now studying the pistol to see if it has been used in any other crimes on record.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Thomas Cook is running low on cash and has begun talks with its banks

Thomas Cook
Thomas Cook planes parked at Munich airport last year. Photograph: Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images

Thomas Cook is running low on cash and has begun talks with its banks, in an effort to increase its borrowings to tide it over the slow Christmas season.

Shares in the tour operator fell by more than three quarters on Tuesday morning after it admitted that trading has "deteriorated" in recent months. It is now seeking to borrow more in the short term, and has postponed the publication of its financial results until the talks are concluded.

Shares in the company, which abruptly lost its chief executive three months ago, tumbled by more than 75% to 9.3p at one stage.

Tour operators tend to run low on cash in the slower winter months, but even so, the news stunned the City. Only last month, Thomas Cook said it had agreed a further £100m in short-term funding from its banks explicitly for the winter lull.

A spokeswoman said that discussions with banks were merely a "prudent" and "pro-active" move. Thomas Cook still has cash in the bank, she said, but wants to be prepared for any unexpected shocks over Christmas. All customer orders are protected by the ATOL protection scheme and equivalent programmes, she added. "Thomas Cook still has cash on the balance sheet, but because conditions have deteriorated further [since October], particularly around trading, some of that extra funding has been used up. Thomas Cook feels it needs more headroom to be prudent," she said.

Interim CEO Sam Weihagen added: "It's business as usual. We are trading within all out business, and financial, covenants, we have all the protection in place like any other travel company, and customers should not worry at all."

The company is seeking roughly £100m more in its latest talks. It made the decision to renew talks with banks on financing after realising the scale of the recent downturn in an internal trading update meeting yesterday.

Police on the Costa del Sol were yesterday hunting a gang who stole £1million of cocaine from a warehouse where authorities held seized drugs before destroying them.

Police on the Costa del Sol were yesterday hunting a gang who stole £1million of cocaine from a warehouse where authorities held seized drugs before destroying them.

The thieves used laser equipment to cut through the metal doors of the store in the docks at Malaga, the capital of the southern Spanish holiday coast. 

They struck when there were no security guards on duty and  it had been left to the paramilitary Civil Guard to watch the building.

The drugs were being stored in a warehouse in Malaga when the thieves struck

The drugs were being stored in a warehouse in Malaga when the thieves struck


Drugs seized by police and customs are stored there for tests to be carried-out before the courts issue orders to destroy them.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

U.K. tax falls on overseas property investors


Overseas property owners based in the UK are about to be targeted by a new HM Revenue & Customs "affluent unit", which has been set up by the British government to address what it sees as tax avoidance by the rich.Photo What next I wonder?? A new team of 200 taxation investigators and specialists has been established by HMRC to identify wealthy individuals who, amongst other things, own land and property abroad … such as a holiday home. OPP understands that the tax attack unit will concentrate on overseas property assets first, and then switch its attention to UK-based commodity traders (who have been accused of helping to drive up food prices,) before looking into the number of UK residents who hold offshore investment accounts. HMRC says that it will be using sophisticated "data mining" techniques to try and track down people who own overseas properties, but do not pay the right amount of tax. This might include someone who owns a villa in Spain which they are renting out, or an individual who owns a piece of land in France that is being used as business premises, said an HMRC spokesman. The experts will be looking for people who do not seem to be declaring the correct income and gains. The new unit, which has been announced by the UK’s Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, will focus solely on people paying the 50% top tax rate. David Gauke, the exchequer secretary to the Treasury, said there would be "no hiding place" for tax cheats, adding that the UK government “is committed to tackling tax evasion and avoidance across all areas of the economy. That is why we allocated HMRC £917m to reduce the tax gap over the next four years. This new team is part of that investment." Ronnie Ludwig, tax partner at accountancy group Saffery Champness told OPP that “those who have been letting out their foreign property and declaring the rents received have nothing to fear, but those who own foreign property which has never been let out should be prepared to prove to HMRC that they have received no income from the property.” “This will involve producing UK and foreign bank statements and being able to demonstrate that they could afford to purchase and maintain the property out of normal declared sources."

Toxic Smoke fills Hotel Senator in Marbella


On Friday the 18th November 2011 our family with a 3 year old toddler and a 15 month old baby checked into the SENATOR Hotel in Marbella for a one night stay. We knew that the Hotel SENATOR had only recently opened and indeed everything seemed brand new and glitzy. After the usual check in fomalities we finally got to our room on the 4th floor which was OK in every respect other than perhaps being a little on the small side. After returning from dinner we immediately went to sleep as we were very tired. At probably between 3 and 4 am I woke up and I thought there was a bad smell in the room. At first I gave it no further attention and went back to sleep only to wake up again and now identifying the smell you get when you turn on an electric heater that has gathered dust. Both my wife and children were completely asleep. As the smell got worse and now clearly was no longer a smell but serious toxic smoke that started to fill the room I woke my wife and she immediately realised that this was smoke from a fire. Then our baby started to cough very badly. I immediately opened our balcony door and to my amazement saw three fire engines and at least three police cars on the front side of the building with firemen entering the Hotel. At this moment images of flames coming out from the balconies entered my head. However only smoke could be seen everywhere. We immediately put on some clothes grabbed essentials and run out of the room only to find that in the hallway smoke was pouring from what seemed to be a fire sprinkler. Another couple opened the safety exit door to the escape staircase and there we found that the smoke was much less apparent. So we went down into the reception which was smoke filled and out into the road. Heavy smoke came out from a basement access into the road. Another guest told us that apparently the fire had started in the newly opened Sauna. By now more guests had decided to leave the hotel for the safety of the street and we were all huddling about in the cold expecting some news about what was going to happen to us. The manager of the Hotel could be seen on top of the Hotel stairs smoking a cigarette. Eventually we requested some explanation and information about the situation as obviously everybody was tired and did not want to remain in the street for ever. The Manager almost casually said that the fire had been put out and that everybody could go back to the rooms as it was now only a simple matter of getting rid of the smoke which he estimated would take about an hour. I made it clear to the manager that both our 3 year old toddler and our baby could not go back into a room where smoke would still be present for at least an hour. He agreed but provided no alternative. So I asked him whether it was safe to retrieve our car from the garage which he said it was and we left. The following questions need answering both by SENATOR Hotels Group and by the local authorities: 1. Why was there no alarm? We might not have woken up perhaps never because as is well known most people do not die from fire but from the toxic smoke it produces. My wife and my children in particular our baby and 3 year old were fast asleep in our smoke filled room. The fact that there was no alarm which was queried by other guests surely implies that either there was a serious breach of procedure or an inadequate safety system in the Hotel. Fire and smoke procedures are subject to extremely serious inspections by the local authorities in all countries. In fact a hotel normally cannot open or will be closed down if any of these procedures are inadequate, faulty or non existent. 2. There were communications over loudspeakers outside the hotel. We could not hear the words spoken on the 4th floor and it seemed that this was more of communications between the police and the firemen. Apart from that we assume that the communications were in spanish and therefore could not be understood by the foreign guests in any case. There seemed to be no call to evacuate the hotel as some guests were still waving from their hotel balconies. 3. That the guests were told to go back ot their rooms even though smoke was still pouring out and would be for at least one hour also indicates a complete lack of understanding of the serious health risks of smoke particularly to children. 4. Nobody gave any explanations or assistance to the guests which included many children. We were all required to stand in the cold of the street for over one hour. You would have thought that a Hotel would have a program in force for such an event including a reciprocal arrangement with another close by hotel for the guests to be able to wait in the reception and be able to use the toilets and get some refreshments in particular for the children. 5. To clear the dining room of thick smoke an industrial fan was brought to the door to literally blow the smoke out of the windows. 6. The penultimate safety question must be: why would a fire in the sauna of the wellness centre of the SENATOR Hotel produce smoke that pours out of every ventilation and airconditioning outlet right up to the top of the hotel? 7. The ultimate safety question must be: why does the SENATOR Hotel in Marbella have no smoke alarms? We are concerned about the possible longterm effects on the health of our children. When cleaning our noses we were worried to notice that our tissues were black. How much of this has gone into our baby's and toddler's lungs? What is the toxic composition of this smoke? We are waiting to hear from the SENATOR Hotel group as to compensation for our nightmare and what they will do to prevent this ever from happening again.

The Government blames the judges for the Málaga drugs theft


300 kilos of cocaine was taken from a warehouse in Málaga portPhoto EFE Government sub-delegate for Málaga, Hilario Lopez Luna, has blamed the judges for the theft of 300 kilos of embargoed cocaine from a warehouse in Málaga port. He said that despite requests being made for authorisation to destroy the drugs, that permission had not arrived from the judges, and that was why there was so much drugs being stored. He said that the drugs taken had already been analysed and the judges have samples so no ongoing investigation would be affected. López Luna denied knowing about the security problems at the warehouse, saying he had never received any information on the subject from the Guardia Civil or anyone else. He said the warehouse was manned weekdays between 7am and 3pm by a private security firm, and for the rest of the time the Guardia Civil had the key. The thieves broke into the warehouse on Saturday night last weekend. His comments have been criticised by the judiciary. ’You can’t move the responsibility now from the administration to the judiciary’ said the President of the Andalucia High Court of Justice, Lorenzo del Rio. The judge noted that ‘the law obliges the immediate destruction of seized drugs’, after samples are taken. ‘Until they can show me documents showing that the destruction of the drugs was pending permission, I will think that it was already authorised’, he said.

20 arrested for sexual exploitation of women


The case started with the arrest of a mother in Vélez-Málaga who obliged her children to prostitute themselvesTwo groups which dedicated their time to the sexual abuse and exploitation of women have been broken up by Spanish police. The case resulted from a police investigation in Vélez-Málaga into two children who were obliged to prostitute themselves by their mother. A total of 20 arrests have been made in Málaga, Girona and Madrid, including two thought to be the heads of the operation who were arrested in Figueres, Girona. The groups operated in clubs and private homes and the women were forced to work round the clock and consumer large amounts of alcohol and drugs. They would often be beaten if they refused any request. Six people have been charged for crimes linked to prostitution and corruption of minors, while the rest face charges of prostitution and acting against the rights of workers.

British woman falls off hotel balcony when having sex


There has been another case of balconing in Spain, this time in Adeje, Tenerife, and with the twist that the victim was having sex with her husband at the time she fell. The British tourist who fell several metres then got her ankle caught between the bars of an internal staircase was left hanging there, head down and totally naked until the emergency crews arrived. 49 year old A.M.A.M. had been having sex with her husband against the railings on one of the public areas of the hotel and in the frenzy, the railings gave way. The husband called the emergency services and the local and national police arrived with a fire crew. After their initial surprise, the managed to release the woman’s trapped right leg, and she was taken for observation to the Hospitén Sur.

British bonds win 'safe haven' tag in eurozone debt storm


British government bonds are attracting strong support, in sharp contrast to their troubled eurozone peers as investors seek a safehaven from a debt crisis now spreading to Italy, Spain and even France. British government bonds, or gilts as they are known, are in huge demand largely because the Bank of England is buying them up with newly-created money that it hopes can in turn be used to stimulate an anaemic economic recovery, analysts say. But investors are also reassured by the British coalition government's determined efforts to slash state debt and avoid the severe troubles that have snared the crisis-hit eurozone trio of Greece, Ireland and Portugal.


The council are seeking to claim a total of 2,251,000€

The PP mayor of El Ejido in Almería, Francisco Góngora, has criticized the "negligence" of the former government team and announced that the city council are to begin legal proceedings against the promotions company who were to stage a concert by the Rolling Stones in 2006.

Following the findings of "many irregularities" in the case, the council are now seeking to claim a total of 2,251,000€, which they feel they are owed, in view of the cancellation.

The announcement was made at a press conference in which Francisco Góngora claimed that there was a “contractual obligation” by the promoter to ensure that the concert went ahead and that even if the company were insolvent, then they would seek recompense from the individuals responsible for the incomplete commitment made to the previous government team.

Information indicates that there was a contractual clause that stipulated that insurance must be provided that should the concert be cancelled, then the promoter would be able to repay any money owed, in full, through an insurance claim. It is believed that this insurance was never provided.

Although some money is said to have been returned, it was only about half of the 4.176 million euro that the city had paid for the organisation of the concert.

There also appears to be a lack of information as to where the money actually went and who might be accountable for the cash given to the company by the council. There have also been allegations made that this whole case could be part of a much wider campaign of both political and corporate corruption.

Now, reviewing the clauses of the original contract, it has been found that the rights to claim the money back would expire after 15 years.

Góngora, also stated that there were economic losses of 2.6 million euro recorded after the second concert by the Rolling Stones in El Ejido held in 2007, which were due to "mismanagement" whereas the projected ticket sales were calculated at 60,000 attendees, but only 20,000 tickets were actually sold.

Referring to the award of the second contract by the previous council, Góngora  stated that "despite the failed previous contract they rehired the same company for four million euro of which they did not deduct anything owed," continuing that he considered the failings to be down to the complacency of the previous PSOE government.

The Ministry of Interior for Andalusia had already imposed a 60,150 euro fine on the organisers for breaching the rules on show cancellations in failing to return ticket money within the maximum four days which is set out by the governing body. In actual fact, it took several weeks for the organisers to return the money raised on the 50,500 tickets sold for the cancelled concert.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

MOROCCAN man who murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her 15 times on Nerja’s emblematic Balcon de Europa


MOROCCAN man who murdered his girlfriend by stabbing her 15 times on Nerja’s emblematic Balcon de Europa has apologised to the victim’s family. Hicham Bellasfer, 32, killed 25-year-old Argentinean Cecila Coria in the Nerja bar where she worked, in September 2008. Coria’s sister Vanessa responded to the apology by calling Bellasfer a ‘scourge on society’ before demanding a long sentence.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Hundreds of kilos of cocaine were stolen from Málaga port

The impounded drugs were taken over the weekend from a warehouse in Málaga port.

Cocaine - Archive Photo EFECocaine - Archive Photo EFE
enlarge photo

Hundreds of kilos of cocaine were stolen from Málaga port last weekend, and some reports speak of as much as 600 kilos.

The drug had been impounded by the courts and the thieves took down the security camera system and forced the locks on the door with a thermal lance to obtain access to the warehouse where it was stored. The store contained drugs from several police operations on the Costa del Sol and from elsewhere in Andalucía.

La Opinion de Málaga reports that the warehouse in the port was top secret, and located just 300m from the Guardia Civil barracks. It could well be the largest ever theft of its type in Spain with the drugs having a street value of 30 million Euro. There was also a large amount of hashish and other substances in the warehouse.

The warehouse is reported to often have been full because of the small capacity of the ovens used to destroy the drugs. It’s security is the responsibility of the National Police, although its understood they had

Suspect for Mazarrón shooting may have escaped from prison


The man who was arrested for a fatal shooting in Mazarrón on Sunday night, killing one man and seriously injuring a 16 year old boy, was serving time in prison for another crime when it happened. It’s not yet clear if he was out on a pass from the prison or had escaped and was on the run. The news came from the central government delegate for Murcia, Rafael González, on Tuesday, who said that the un-named suspect, a man from Tarragona, will be assessed by a psychiatrist for any mental health problems. It’s understood that the Civil Guard have found the murder weapon and believe the suspect may have had a second gun. A woman he stayed with at a local hotel just hours before the shooting is also under investigation, as is any connection he may have had with the man he killed. The teenager who was out walking his dog in a local park when he met the suspect by chance remains in a critical condition in hospital with a bullet wound to his head.

Monday, 14 November 2011

The prosecutor in the Marta del Castillo case informed the court on Monday that a new witness has come forward who puts Francisco Javier Delgado

The prosecutor in the Marta del Castillo case informed the court on Monday that a new witness has come forward who puts Francisco Javier Delgado, brother of the main accused, Miguel Carcaño, at the scene of the crime on the night of January 24-25, 2009, when Marta is thought to have died.

The un-named witness says he picked Delgado up near the bar where he works in Sevilla and drove him to the flat on Calle León XIII where Marta was killed.

Delgado faces a possible eight years in prison as an accomplice in the crime, and claims to have been working in the bar until 3am that night. No further details of the witness’s evidence have yet been confirmed, but El Mundo indicates that he has told police that he drove Delgado to Calle León XIII between midnight and 2am on January 25, 2009.

His evidence could prove key in throwing more light on the extent of Delgado’s involvement in the crime. Investigations to confirm the veracity of this new evidence are expected to be completed by Wednesday, after which it’s hoped the witness can be questioned in court next week.

He is understood to have approached police last Thursday after recognising Delgado’s voice and face during the broadcasts of the trial.

One dead and another critical after shooting in Mazarrón


Bolivian man who has not been named died on Sunday night after being shot in the chest in Mazarrón, Murcia, and a second man was seriously injured by a shot to the head. Protección Civil say that local police from Manzarrón managed to arrest the alleged shooter, and the investigation has been passed on to the Guardia Civil under reporting restrictions. It happened in Avenida Constitutción at 11pm when several residents heard the shots and called the emergency services. When the medical units arrived at the scene they could only confirm the death of a man who was lying on the ground after being shot, and then some minutes later and 400m away they found another man, also suffering from gunshot wounds to the head. The second man, who is reported to be a tramp and who met with the shooter by chance, was rushed to the Virgen de la Arrixaca Hospital where he is reported to be in a critical condition in intensive care. The Government Delegate, Rafael González Tovar, has said that several lines of investigation are open in an attempt to establish the motive for the shooting. In a separate incident in the Zabalbide station in the Bilbao Metro a man has died after being stabbed. The aggressor also attacked another six people before being arrested by the Municipal Police. It happened at 0945 Monday morning at the entrance to the metro.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

ARRESTED 60-year-old, who is originally from Blackpool, but has been living in the Marbella area of Spain

Armed Naval and Gardai personnel with cocaine which was seized from a yacht off the west coast of Ireland

Armed Naval and Gardai personnel with cocaine which was seized from a yacht off the west coast of Ireland


A BLACKPOOL man has been arrested for allegedly being part of a £250m international cocaine smuggling racket.


Police, acting under orders from the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) – dubbed Britain’s FBI –swooped in the town to capture John Alan Brooks.

The 60-year-old, who is originally from Blackpool, but has been living in the Marbella area of Spain, was found at an address in Marton.

His arrest comes as part of a major investigation which was launched in 2008 when a 1.5 tonnes shipment of cocaine was seized off the coast of Ireland.

The luxury yacht Dances With Waves was carrying drugs with an estimated value of 300m euros or £250m.

Naval officers boarded her after she got into trouble 170 miles off the south west coast of Ireland.

Brooks is known to have had addresses previously in both the Commonedge Road area of Blackpool and in Lytham and St Annes.

It is believed he was visiting family members in Blackpool when police moved in.

A spokesman for SOCA confirmed: “A man allegedly linked to a plot to smuggle 1.5 tonnes of cocaine into the UK on board the boat Dances with Waves was arrested as part of a Serious Organised Crime Agency investigation.

“John Alan Brooks has been charged with conspiracy to import cocaine.

“He is originally from Blackpool, but has been living in the Benahavis area of Spain,

“He appeared at Birmingham Magistrates Court on Monday. He has been remanded in custody and is due to appear at Birmingham Crown Court this coming Monday.”

The drugs seizure was reportedly the largest in Irish history when it was made in November 2008.

Dances With Waves – a 60ft ocean-going yacht – had set sail from Trinidad and was heading for the UK when it got into difficulties in stormy weather.

It was reported 70 bales of cocaine were on the verge of capsizing when Naval officers moved in.

Authorities were forced to board the ship in “horrendous weather conditions” to prevent evidence being lost in the seven-metre swells.

Experts said although the yacht could travel at high speeds, it was not designed for rough weather.

Under armed guard, the crippled yacht was sailed to Castletownbere, west Cork, where plastic-wrapped bales which filled the hull were unloaded and stacked on the quayside.

n Philip Doo, 52, from Brixham, David Mufford, 44, of Torquay, and Christopher Wiggins, 42, with an address in Spain’s Costa del Sol were arrested on the yacht.

They later pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine with intent to supply.

All received 10-year sentences at Cork Circuit Criminal Court in May 2009

Foreign Office is urging Britons to remember that its services are reserved for people in real difficultly


Foreign Office is urging Britons to remember that its services are reserved for people in real difficultly, and not for finding out Prince Charles' shoe size The Foreign Office has issued a reminder to Britons travelling and living abroad that embassies, high commissions and consulates exist to offer assistance to those in real difficultly, and are not 'concierge services'. To demonstrate their point the Foreign Office decided to reveal some of the odd requests they have received over the last six months. One man in Sofia asked if the Consulate would sell his house for him, whilst another rang the Consulate in Sydney to find out what he should pack for his holiday. A lady in Moscow called the embassy complaining about a buzzing noise in her apartment, a caller in Spain wondered the shoe size of Prince Charles, and a man stranded in an airport asked the Foreign Office to contact his dominatrix. With around two million consular inquires every year, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) needs to dedicate its time to helping British citizens abroad in the case of hospitalisation, death, arrest, forced marriage and child abduction. Jeremy Browne, Minister for Consular Affairs, said: “It is important that people understand the level of help we can offer. Our priority is to help people in real difficulty abroad and we cannot do this if our time is diverted by people trying to use us as a concierge service. We need to be able to focus primarily on helping victims of serious crimes, supporting people who have been detained or assisting people who have lost a loved one abroad.”  The Foreign Office has recently set up a call centre in Malaga to filter out some of the non-consular inquires from Spain, Portugal, Italy and Andorra, allowing embassy and consulate staff to focus their time on more important issues at hand. So just remember, there are simply some things the Foreign Office cannot help with, and where to get a Christmas lunch in Malaga, the location of the best fishing spots in Greece and meeting pets in customs in Dubai are some of them.

Holiday villa belonging to a Sevilla family was left in a heap of rubble after thieves stole it brick by brick


holiday villa belonging to a Sevilla family was left in a heap of rubble after thieves stole it brick by brick. Gloria Moreno had a villa in the urbanization of Boticaria (Sevilla), near a luxury. Now he has nothing. They have stolen the building brick by brick. When the rafters were taken the ceiling came down and what was supposed to be a beautiful holiday home has become a pile of rubble. Her family bought the home ten years ago as a second home in an area that promised to become a luxurious area. He family lives in Sevilla and thought this place could be good to spend weekends and days off. It was close to the pine forests and was a newly established residential area in quiet environment. However, the construction of the urbanization stopped leaving the villa isolated. For a time they had rented it out, but upon the departure of the tenants, it was targeted by vandals and thieves. These could operate at night with peace of mind they would not be seen by anyone. Inside the house began a process of selective demolition. First, they took doors and windows. They also dismantled the mechanism of purification of the pool. On one visit she saw various holes in the roof, dismissing it as pure vandalism. What she did not know was that vandals were trying to determinte the material of the roof beams. When  iron was found they proceeded to disassemble them one by one to take them and sell them as scrap. By removing the beams the roof collapsed leaving only the walls. But there was something else to steal. In one of the last visits the son of the family saw how someonehad been removing bricks one by one, cleaning and stealing them. What was once a beautiful holiday home is now only a heap of rubble and a hazard.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs

Joseph Lagrue

One of Birmingham’s ‘Most Wanted’ crooks is facing justice over a battle between rival bikers at the airport in which one man nearly died.

Joseph Patrick John Lagrue handed himself in at Solihull police station in September after the brawl between members of the Hell’s Angels and Outlaws biker gangs in January 2008.

Up to 30 people, some armed with hammers, machetes, knuckledusters, knives and a meat cleaver, were involved in the fight following a trip to Spain.

Families of holidaymakers were forced to dive for cover as the violence swept through the terminal.

A police source said Lagrue, 43, understood to be a member of the Outlaws, had played a “key role" in the violence.

But he was not tracked down following the incident and, in January last year, detectives named him as ‘wanted’ and added his face to their website.

A West Midlands Police spokesman said that following his arrest on September 27 he appeared before magistrates in Solihull charged with rioting.

He has pleaded guilty to the offence and will be sentenced later this month.

“Joseph Lagrue was wanted by police in connection since the investigation commenced and our efforts to track him down never ceased,” the spokesman said.

“This was a significant disturbance played out in the full glare of a busy international airport terminal.

"Families returning to Birmingham from their holidays were forced to take cover as two groups attacked each other with gratuitous violence.

“Weapons were produced and used and there were a number of injuries.

“The arrest of Joseph Lagrue brings this significant investigation to a close.”

The mob violence exploded near the arrivals hall of the airport after rival members discovered they were on the same flight from Alicante, in Spain.

Members of both gangs were met by associates, who provided them with weapons, as they arrived at the airport and began brawling in front of terrified families.

Several men were injured and one almost lost his life after suffering a serious head injury.

In July 2009, Neil Harrison, then aged 46, of Bell Green Road, Coventry; Paul Arlett, then 35, of Cradley Road, Dudley; Mark Price, then 50, of Westbury Road, Nuneaton, Warwickshire; Sean Timmins, then 38, of Brewood Road in Coven, Staffordshire; Leonard Hawthorne, then 52, of Penn Road, Wolverhampton; Mark Moseley, then 46, of Orchard Rise, in Birmingham, and Jeremy Ball, then 46, of Plant Street, Cheadle, Staffordshire, were each jailed for six years after being convicted of rioting.

Another man, Mark Larner, then aged 47, of Tudor Road, Upper Gornal in the Black Country, fled to South Africa “with a substantial amount of money” before being sentenced. He later handed himself in to police in Bristol and was jailed in November 2009 for six years.

A spokesman for the Crown Prosecution Service said Lagrue had pleaded guilty and was remanded in custody until later this month when he is due to be sentenced at Warwick Crown Court.

The King of Spain’s son-in-law was at the centre of a corruption storm today as he came under investigation for siphoning off public money.

Inaki Urdangarin - the husband of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia's youngest daughter Infanta Cristina - is suspected of misappropriating cash paid into an NGO.

The former handball player now faces a possible interrogation by investigating judge Jose Castro  and risks causing huge embarrassment for the royals.

It is claimed that his non-profit company, Instituto Noos, was given an enormous 2.3million euros (just under £2million) by the Balearic Islands’ regional government to organise two conferences on tourism and sport in 2005 and 2006. 

The judicial investigation is looking into whether the bills for the events were inflated and if the money ended up in private companies run by Urdangarin, who is Duke of Palma, the capital of Majorca.

Urdangarin, 43, left Instituto Noos in 2006, months after the exorbitant sums paid by the Balearic government were revealed by the Socialist Party.



He said today: 'I cannot comment about on-going judicial proceedings.'

The prosecution claims Urdangarin and his associate Diego Torres created a network of societies with which they diverted public and private funds received by Instituto Noos.

 Inaki Urdangarin
Inaki Urdangarin

Under suspicion: The former handball star is charged with creating a network of societies into which he diverted private and public funds

Regal scandal: Princess Cristina and Urdangarin (far right) pose with Spain's royal family King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and wife Princess Letizia and Princess Elena

Regal scandal: Princess Cristina and Urdangarin (far right) pose with Spain's royal family King Juan Carlos, Queen Sofia, Crown Prince Felipe and wife Princess Letizia and Princess Elena

They are under investigation for document falsification, corruption, fraud and embezzlement, and Torres’s home has been searched.

The Royal Household expressed its 'absolute respect' for the legal decisions and added that it has 'nothing to say at this moment' as this is 'an investigation which must follow its course'.

The Duke and Duchess, who married in 1997, now live in Washington, DC. The couple have four children. 

Urdangarin played in Spain’s national handball team at three Olympic Games, captaining the side for Sydney 2000.

A Romanian man wanted for murder and robbery in Portugal has been arrested in Torre del Mar.

27 year old from Romania escaped to Spain after he was sentenced for the death of a woman who was killed in Portugal in 2005

EFE archiveEFE archive
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Named by El Mundo newspaper as 27 year old Ioan R., he fled to Spain after a Portuguese court sentenced him to 15 and a half years in prison for the death of a woman in 2005. The victim was smothered to death in her bed during the course of a robbery.

The wanted man was traced to the Axarquía district of Málaga province and was arrested near a bar in Torre del Mar on November 4. He has now been transferred into the custody of the National Court for extradition to Portugal.

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Nigerian scam case deflates in Málaga


Nilo Case has reached court in Málaga, judging the largest ever swindle carried out mostly by Nigerians who sent out letters to try and capture their victims. Under the scam thousands of letters were sent from Málaga around the world, informing their recipients that they had won a prize in the Spanish lottery, and calling for them to pay a management fee so they could receive their winnings. There are 247 known victims of the fraud from Belgium to Australia and in the United States and even the UAE. The network collected 2.98 million € in ‘management fees’, via phone booth businesses on the Costa del Sol. 168 people from 14 countries were accused in the case, but the procedure was deflated somewhat on the first day on Wednesday when 55 of the accused could not be located by the court to serve them with the summons to appear. Of the 113 remaining, plea bargains were established with 87 to give them 23 months and 15 days in jail and a 1,800 fine each. That means that if they have no previous record, they will not have to go to prison, just having to pay the fine. Another group of just 16 refused to accept the plea deal, which implies them admitting their guilt, and they will be called back for the oral hearing of the case which will start on December 15. During the instruction of the case 84 people found to be in Spain illegally were deported back to Nigeria.

The Civil Guard have asked for help from the public in identifying a body

The unidentified man - EFEThe unidentified man - EFE
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The Civil Guard have asked for help from the public in identifying a body which was found floating in the waters of Tarragona Port at the end of October.

The deceased is a man aged between 55 and 65, 1.60 metres tall, with short greying hair and a beard. He was wearing blue Lois jeans when he was found, with a white vest, a blue T-shirt with the words ‘Out One Jeans’, a brown ‘North Face’ fleece, and brown Paredes sports shoes.

His body was found on October 31 and is thought to have been in the water between 10 and 16 hours.

Any member of the public with information on the man’s identity should contact their nearest Civil Guard barracks or call the central Civil Guard emergency number, 062.


Hundreds of foreign residents could lose their homes after mortgage scam in Spain


A group of some twenty foreign residents of the Costa del Sol have denounced a fraud under which they could lose their homes. They have formed a platform to denounce a mortgage fraud which had the objective of getting large amounts of money which was then invested in financial havens such as Luxembourg or the Channel Islands. There were foreign victims, mostly all retired, along the entire Spanish coastline and on the islands, from the Costa del Sol to the Costa Blanca, Baleares and Canaries. The scam was headed by foreign banks and foreign financial advisors, nearly all from Denmark, who had been working for some years in Spain, many without the correct authorisation of the National Commission for Market Values. They told the foreigners purchasing property that they had to get a mortgage as otherwise they would be hit with high Spanish taxes. The sales patter for these inverted mortgages claimed that residents’ homes were in danger from the Spanish taxman, claiming Spain would claim between 70 or 80% in succession tax. In effect the scheme invited the foreigners to defraud the Spanish Hacienda tax authorities. The lawyer representing those affected in Málaga, Antonio Flores, from Lawbird in Marbella, said the victims signed up for ‘predatory mortgages’ which offered the possibility of mortgaging their homes for nearly five years at a value above the level of the official appraisal and investing the money outside Spain, mostly in Luxembourg, in order to obtain a profit which covered their costs and gave them an extra payment. Some 800 contracts for the scheme were taken out between 2004 and 2009, and now the foreigners’ platform on the Costa del Sol is appealing to the National Court that those contracts be declared null and void. The total fraud is estimated at 250 million €. The mortgages were signed in Spain, with Spanish notaries and the investment contracts were signed in offices which the financial agents had in Spain, or in some cases in the client’s home. Nearly all those offices are now closed and the financial agents implicated have abandoned Spain. The clients’ money went on the purchase of currency or bank bonds in operations which soon lost money, leaving many of them now facing the possibility of losing their homes.

Man decapitates his daughter in Girona saying the devil ordered him to kill her


Latin American man was arrested at his home in Girona on Thursday morning after telephoning emergency services to say he had killed his two year old daughter. His other daughter, aged six, was found with him at the family home on Calle Oviedo unhurt. She is understood to have been watching television when it happened. Her sister’s decapitated body was found lying on the bed when a medical team arrived at the property with police. The father is reported to have claimed that the devil had ordered him to kill her.

Civil Guard have arrested 18 members of a drugs network which had its main base in Bilbao

Some of the drugs recovered. Photo - Civil GuardSome of the drugs recovered. Photo - Civil Guard
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The Civil Guard have arrested 18 members of a drugs network which had its main base in Bilbao and smuggled cocaine into the country from Colombia for sale on the Canary Islands.

They used drug mules to bring the cocaine into Spain on regular flights to Madrid, who were often made to practice before the trip by swallowing capsules containing a similar volume of flour. Once in Spain, the cocaine was cut at their base in Bilbao and sent on to the island of La Palma for distribution.

The suspects are 14 Colombian citizens, three Spaniards and another from Venezuela. They include six couriers, including two who were arrested in Colombia as they were about to board a flight to Spain and another at Lanzarote Airport. This last was found to be carrying more than one kilo of cocaine inside his body.

Eight addresses were searched as part of the operation, when 11 kilos of cocaine, 6 kilos of cannabis and 1.5 kilos of an adulterating substance were seized.

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Dogs crap can cost a fortune in Marbella municipality


The fine for not picking up dogs crap is raised in Marbella municipality up to 30.000 Euros. Around the street with lovely Marbella apartments, Marbella villas and property Marbella is it full with dog crap. Marbella municipal leaders want to strengthen measures to remove animal waste from the city streets. Therefore it has been assumed increased fines. . A first-time offense will be punishable by between 75 and 500 Euros in fines. Relapses can lead to penalties of up to 2.000 Euros, while cases that are considered particularly serious will be punished with up to 30.000 Euros in fines. The interesting thing about this is how the Marbella municipality is going get any money from the dog owners who miss behaving mostly are poor low class people with no money.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Farmer dies after being attacked by jabalí


A farmer has died in Guadassuar, Tous, in Valencia after being attacked by a jabalí wild boar. Reports say the 60 year old man was working in his own orange grove when he was surprised by the beast. Miguel E. suffered injuries in the groin and was found with his blood over his hands and face according to witnesses who said it looked like he tried to defend himself from the attack. It happened last Saturday morning. Tous is a municipality where 90% of the population are hunters and nobody can ever remember anything similar ever happening before. The local police say the victim’s son reported that his father had phoned him on his mobile to say he had been injured, but when a neighbour arrived at the scene he was already dead. Reports indicate that he had earlier suffered a heart attack.

National Police arrest Local Policeman in Marbella


National police arrested a member of the Marbella Local Police force who was found shoplifting in a local commercial centre on Saturday. The man had tried to take a camera from the store. Municipal sources say the agent has already handed in his plaque and pistol, and is being suspended from his post without pay. Marbella Town Hall said they lamented the incident which they described as ‘totally isolated’.

Juan Antonio Roca, the ex Municipal Real Estate Assessor, at the centre of the allegations, has moved on to the most interesting phase

Juan Antonio Roca - EFE archiveJuan Antonio Roca - EFE archive
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The Malaya case investigating the widespread corruption in Marbella Town Hall, and with Juan Antonio Roca, the ex Municipal Real Estate Assessor, at the centre of the allegations, has moved on to the most interesting phase, as the Málaga court starts to investigate the bribes.

On Monday, some five years and seven months after his arrest, Roca has had to start to respond to the big questions at the centre of the case, the backhanders he allegedly received from real estate promoters in exchange for licences to build outside the PGOU urban plan. More than 50 people including ex Mayors and Roca himself are expected to declare in this section of the case.

The court considers that Roca was paid by 19 different companies between 2001 and 2006, a total of 33.3 million €. Among the big payers were Carlos Sánchez and Andres Liétor – 6.8 million, José Avila Rojas – five million, and the directors of Aifos – 4.8 million.

The Córdoba promoter Sandokán, who is now a councillor in the city, allegedly handed over 600,000 in exchange for town planning favours.

The prosecutor claims that despite not being elected, a politician or even a civil servant, Roca was the man who was running Marbella Town Hall following the motion of no confidence passed in August 2003 against the then Mayor, Julian Muñoz. Roca’s power, lubricated by bags of cash, saw all the councilors act as his subordinates.

Key to the prosecution’s case are a series of files found at the lawyers offices, Maras Asesores. The business was controlled by Roca and councilors and businessmen often met in their offices. Police found some files, in the power of Salvador Gardoqui, which are considered to be Roca’s secret accounts, showing the entry and exit of money, with the real estate section of the accounts showing a surplus of more than 17 million €.

In the court on Monday another one of the accused, Eusabio Sierra, admitted, following a plea bargain with the Anti-corruption Prosecutor, that he paid a 60,000 € backhander to Roca to speed up the Town Hall’s payment of a debt. His two year prison threat has now been reduced to six months as a result, which means he will escape jail by paying a fine.

The basis of Roca’s statement to the court today was that he was not in control of the Town Hall and that the now late Mayor, Jesús Gil decided absolutely everything, ‘above all in the areas of work, the economy and real estate’. Asked by the Prosecutor what his relationship was with the Marbella Town Hall, he replied that it was always via municipal companies.

However Roca did admit paying local councilors for their votes in the motion of no confidence against Julián Muñoz, and admitted to the judge that he was paid more than 3.5 million € in backhanders, which he described as ‘advice payments’ for projects developed in the town. He admitted that Construcciones Salamanca 740,000 € and said that Aifos, whose bosses are also on the accused bench, paid as much as 1.8 million €. He said that the accounting of Maras Asesores, was correct, and admitted that was the company he used to try and hide all his finances.

Three Gibraltar police injured in collision with Guardia Civil boat off Gibraltar


Three Gibraltar police have been injured after their boat was in collision with a Guardia Civil vessel in the waters off the Rock on Monday night. Spanish media say the collision took place in Spanish waters close to La Línea during a joint chase of drug traffickers who were in an inflatable craft. The fact the Gibraltar and the Spanish authorities were both chasing the drug traffickers showed that in this case there is no talk of any interference having taken place between the two. Spain has repeatedly requested clear protocols to be established to avoid accidents in situations such as this. The three men were injured as a result of the impact between the two boats, and were seriously hurt. All three had fallen into the water and were rescued by the Guardia. One man with a suspected head fracture was taken to La Linea Hospital but is now at St Bernards on the rock. The other two were taken to the Punta de Europa hospital in Algeciras where they were x-rayed and cleared of fractures. An investigation is underway and it is unclear at this stage whether the drug traffickers got away. The Royal Gibraltar Police vessel is reported to be extensively damaged, including its engines. It’s the latest of a chain of incidents between the Gibraltar Police and the Spanish Guardia Civil.

Waiter found guilty of killing Ukrainian call-girl in Mijas


THE man charged with killing and dismembering a Ukrainian call-girl in Mijas in April last year has been found guilty. The public prosecution was asking for 14 years for manslaughter and five months for desecration of the body. Alla Mefodova, 36, disappeared in Fuengirola, and police only recovered the remains of her hands. DNA tests confirmed they belonged to her. The man confessed that he had been out drinking on the night of April 5, 2010, and enlisted the services of a call-girl who identified herself as Bianca. It was the six calls he made to her phone which led police to him. He told the police they were together at his house for several hours during which they drunk a bottle of whisky and took cocaine. He claimed they began to argue, probably about money. He says that he fell asleep and doesn’t remember how the woman died, but admitted that when he saw she was dead, he went into shock, considering calling the police or committing suicide, but that instead, he took her personal belongings and clothes and burned them. Later, he bought a saw, cut her body into pieces and put them into bags which he dumped in rubbish containers in the area. He claimed to have fainted several times in the process. The waiter from Castilla-La Mancha had no criminal record and had never been accused of violent behaviour. Just a month earlier, Alla had managed to bring her 17-year-old son to Spain, after leaving him with her mother in the Ukraine when he was just seven years old. He and a close friend reported her missing.

Monday, 7 November 2011

High speed train comes to Ronda


THE AVE is coming to Ronda. This means significantly reduced journey times to Madrid, Granada, Cordoba, Málaga and beyond. The project also includes completing the upgrade of the line from Ronda down to Algeciras to allow for the faster trains. The announcement was made on Friday, 4 November, via a BOE, Boletín Oficial del Estado. According to this document there will be 64.4 kms. of double track electrified line of the European gauge between the existing AVE-station at Antequera-Santa Ana and La Indiana, the old station on the outskirts of Ronda where the new AVE station for Ronda will be built. The project has a budget of 711.47 million euros and will follow the route of the current single track line between Bobadilla and Ronda. However, according to the website the line will take a direct route from Setenil de las Bodegas to La Indiana, cutting out the S-loop which takes in Arriate and Ronda, and will cut through virgin countryside. The proposals are now out to public consultation and the plans can be viewed at the Town Halls in Antequera, Campillos, Teba, Cañete la Real, Almargen, Ronda, Arriate, Olvera, Alcalá y Setenil de las Bodegas, as well as in Málaga City, Cádiz and Madrid. I understand from an unnamed source that work will not commence until 2014. So peace and quiet for three more years before more new sounds are added to the local cacophony where we live. However, ignoring any NIMBY tendencies, a high speed rail link from Ronda into the rest of the AVE-network can only be a good thing for the area. With journey times to major cities cut dramatically, it can only improve the economic prospects of the area, both in terms of tourism and commerce. Real estate values in the area around La Indiana are likely to rocket as people realise it’s possible to commute from the rural idyll that is the Serranía de Ronda to Madrid and the other major cities to the north.


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