National Police have arrested 67 Chinese in a network Madrid which were distributing a new drug ‘Kai Xin Guo’. The drug’s name translates to ‘happy fruit’ or ‘happy state’. The network operated in brothels and karaokes in the Chinese community. Many of those arrested live in the Parla or Leganés areas of the capital. The methamphetamine ’Ice’ and adulterated ketamine, ‘Kin’ are other drugs which are popular with Chinese residents in Spain. Nearly 2% of drivers who were killed in traffic accidents in 2011 had take ketamine. The group were introducing and distributing the drug in small quantities to as not to attract the attention of the Police. The Police say they did not detect the new drug in Spain until last year when the first quantities were found.
Monday, 30 July 2012
Sunday, 29 July 2012
17-year veteran of the New York Police Department has been suspended without pay after a kidnapping victim was found tied up in his garage. The New York Post reports Ondre Johnson, a detective with the Brooklyn north gang unit, was being questioned in connection with the incident and was forced to surrender his gun and badge. A source tells the Post the 25-year-old victim was snatched off the street on July 26. The victim's friends then got calls demanding $75,000 for the victim's release. The call was traced to Johnson's home, MyFoxNY.com reports. When authorities arrived Friday afternoon, Johnson answered the door and identified himself as a detective with the NYPD. Investigators then found the victim tied up in the garage. Four men have been charged in the apparent kidnapping scheme, MyFoxNY.com reports. 30-year-old Hakeem Clark, who lives in the same building as Johnson, was charged with kidnapping and weapons possession along with 27-year-old Jason Hutson and 27-year-old James Gayle. 24-year-old Alfredo Haughton was charged with kidnapping.
Jamie “Iceman” Stevenson is back on the streets – less than halfway through his prison sentence for laundering £1million of drugs cash. Scotland’s most powerful mobster has been enjoying meals at expensive restaurants and socialising with pals after being allowed home for a week each month. Stevenson – who was also accused of shooting dead his best friend in an underworld hit – was put behind bars in September 2006 when he was arrested after a four-year surveillance operation by the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency. He was later sentenced to 12 years and nine months for money laundering. But, we can reveal, he is now allowed out of Castle Huntly open prison near Dundee – just five years and 10 months later. A source said: “He seems determined to show his face all around town to deliver the message that he’s back and, as far as he’s concerned, nothing has changed. “A lot of people are surprised that he’s being allowed out so early. Some are not too pleased about it for a number of reasons.” Stevenson, 47, has been spotted at Bothwell Bar & Brasserie, which is run by his friend Stewart Gilmore. He and his cronies have also dined at upmarket Italian restaurant Il Pavone in Glasgow’s Princes Square shopping centre. And Stevenson has joined friends at various other restaurants and hotels, including Glasgow’s Hilton Garden Inn. A Sunday Mail investigation can today reveal that the Parole Board for Scotland could recommend Stevenson’s total freedom as early as February next year. However, the final decision on his release will rest with Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill. Yesterday, Labour justice spokesman Lewis Macdonald said: “I’m surprised to hear this and that anyone in these circumstances should get out of jail before the halfway point of their sentence – far less so when the conviction is of someone involved in organised crime. “The only circumstances where that would be conceivable would be if someone completely changed their lifestyle. But even then that should not be before they’ve served half their sentence. “I’m sure the victims of these crimes – and with drugs there are direct and indirect victims – will also be surprised at this.” To prepare Stevenson for his release, prison bosses have allowed him to stay a full week each month at his modest flat in Burnside, near Glasgow. On Friday, we watched him leaving the property with his wife Caroline and driving off in a silver Audi. A prison service insider said: “The Parole Board expect the prison authorities to have allowed home visits to test suitability for release ahead of the first eligible parole date. In Stevenson’s case, that’s next February. “There are conditions attached which vary but usually include the obvious ones like not mixing with other criminals and staying only at the designated address. “For prisoners sentenced to more than 10 years, the Parole Board make their recommendations to the Justice Secretary, who then decides whether to release on licence. “Stevenson is trying to keep his nose clean to convince the Parole Board that he poses no threat to society. “But, given his high profile and significance, it’s inevitable that the authorities will be careful before making any final decision.” Stevenson headed a global smuggling gang with a multi-million-pound turnover when he was brought down by the SCDEA’s Operation Folklore, which seized £61million of drugs. He faced drug and money laundering charges along with eight other suspects, including his 53-year-old wife. But his lawyers struck a deal with the Crown Office to admit money laundering in exchange for his wife’s freedom and the drugs charges being dropped. Stevenson’s stepson Gerry Carbin Jr, 32, was also jailed – for five years and six months – but was freed in 2010. Stevenson was previously arrested for the murder of Tony McGovern, 35, who was gunned down in Glasgow’s Springburn in 2000. But prosecutors dropped the case through lack of evidence. A gangland source said: “He does not fear any kind of reprisal from Tony’s brothers, nor does he regard any other criminals in Scotland as a threat or even as rivals. He did not fear any other operation in Scotland before he was jailed. Why would he now?” Two years ago, the Sunday Mail exposed a backdoor deal when the Crown handed back Stevenson’s £300,000 watch collection, which had been seized under proceeds of crime of legislation. Last June, he was sent back to high-security Shotts jail in Lanarkshire from an open prison after a major SCDEA drugs probe, Operation Chilon. Detectives believed that the gang they investigated was controlled by Stevenson. Haulage firm boss Charles McAughey’s home was one of 11 targeted in raids. In 2009, we revealed that French police had found 684kg of pure cocaine worth £31million in a lorry owned by McAughey. Chilon resulted in the SCDEA seizing 242kg of cannabis worth £1.21million and the jailing of three men for a combined 15 years.
Saturday, 28 July 2012
Reece James, 21, a close friend of Tulisa Contostavlos has been shot dead in a reported gangland attack. The 21-year-old, who appeared with Tulisa in a video for rapper Nines, was shot in the head in a "pre-planned and targeted" hit, 100 miles from his home in London, reports the UK's Sun newspaper. Police found James' body in Boscombe, Bournemouth, at around 2.30am near where Somali drug gangs are said operate. A 22-year-old man was arrested. Reece was said to have been in the area with some friends for "a couple of months", though had filmed the video earlier this month with Tulisa and rapper Nines on the Church End Estate in Harlesden, North West London. The former N Dubz star caused controversy at the time, making a "C" symbol to the camera - the same sign that is used by Harlesden's notorious Church Road Soldiers gang. Tulisa claimed it was a reference to Camden, where she was born. Twitter tributes began flooding in last night, with one user writing, "RIP Reece James. Thoughts are with him and his family and friends". Local MP Tobias Ellwood described the killing as "a spill over from the drugs turf war in the capital", adding, "This was one London gang chasing down another, carrying out a professional hit and then going back".
violent 19 year old British tourist, named with the initials C.J.H., had to be expelled from a discotheque in Platja d'en Bossa. Once outside in the street he created a disturbance and attacked several people. One of them he hit so hard the victim lost a tooth, and tried to attack one of the local policemen from Sant Josep who went to arrest him. The police have accused him of public disorder and acting against authority, and he also possibly indictment for causing injuries. Local Police say it happened at 4am and the British Tourist was completely out of himself, probably under the influence of drugs. He was on the dance floor of the disco when, with any cause, he started to throw bottles into the air. Three members of the disco’s security team were needed to expel him.
A father and his son have died in a shoot-out in the Costa Cabana area of Almería. The National Police has arrested three people in connection with a brawl in which two men, aged 58 and 35 and father and son, died. Two firearms, a pistol and revolver, had been used in the brawl. They have now been recovered. First indications are that the shooting could have been a row over a business between the dead and the arrested, all of the same family. The National Police are maintaining security controls in the zon
Friday, 27 July 2012
Hundreds of visitors in British-registered vehicles or hire cars have had their possessions, passports and money taken in ‘quick and slick’ distraction muggings.
The thieves typically trick their victims with loud noises, apparent accidents, supposed vehicle problems or pleas for help – before stealing bags and belongings from their vehicles.
Thieves: Hundreds of visitors in British-registered vehicles or hire cars have had their possessions, passports and money taken in 'quick and slick' distraction muggings
As millions of families begin their summer breaks, the Foreign Office has warned British-registered cars are ‘an easy target’ for motorway thieves.
The number of British tourists ambushed on Spanish roads has soared as the euro crisis has deepened, with the British Embassy in Madrid reporting a 10 per cent rise in the first quarter of this year.
A spokesman for the embassy said: ‘Motorists may be driving along the motorway and not notice there’s a car close up behind.
‘Someone in the other car throws a stone at their vehicle which creates a loud bang. The British drivers pull over to see what has happened and the gang is behind them.
‘They cause a distraction to steal from them or simply mug them. It’s a growing problem.’
Warning: As millions of families begin their summer breaks, the Foreign Office has warned British-registered cars are ¿an easy target¿ for motorway thieves
A hotspot for the gangs is the AP7 motorway between the French border and the Alicante region in southern Spain.
More than 140 cases of theft on this route were reported to British Consulates last year.
However, a spokesman said there were likely to be ‘hundreds more’ attacks going unreported across Spain because victims usually contact a British consulate only if they have lost their passport.
Dave Thomas, consular regional director for Spain, said: ‘Be on your guard against anyone who attempts to stop you or ask you for help.
‘They may well be part of a gang operating a scam in which an unseen accomplice will rob you of your things.’
Stephen and Helen Robinson, from Desford, Leicestershire, had their bags stolen from their Audi Q5 as they stopped to walk their labrador retriever Polly at a service station between Barcelona and Valencia.
The couple, who are in their 50s, were standing at the boot of their car when a man on a mobile phone asked them how to say something in English.
While he distracted them, their belongings were taken from the front of the car, despite Polly being inside.
Mrs Robinson said: ‘It was quick and slick. You may be more tired and therefore more vulnerable when you’ve been travelling, so separate your valuables into different places in the car, and when you stop be aware you may be being watched. You won’t see the accomplice of the person who is distracting you.’
In a separate incident, Joy and Alan Horton, from Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, were driving a Ford Focus hatchback through Spain when they heard a loud bang and pulled over.
A car that had been travelling close behind them also stopped, and while the driver talked to them, his accomplice stole their possessions without them noticing.
Mr Horton said: ‘If you think your car may have been in a collision and you pull over, lock the car as soon as you get out and mount a guard on both sides of the vehicle. Keep all bags and valuables in a locked boot.’
Professor Stephen Glaister, of the RAC Foundation, said: ‘Drivers need to remember to stay alert and be ready for unwelcome surprises just as they would be at home.’
Thursday, 26 July 2012
The biggest fines in British maritime history were handed down to a group of Spanish fishermen on Thursday, for illegal fishing in UK waters.
Some of the biggest fines in British maritime history were handed down to a group of Spanish fishermen on Thursday, for illegal fishing in UK waters.
Two companies owned by the Vidal family were fined £1.62m in total in a Truro court, after a two-day hearing, in which details emerged of falsified log books, failing to register the transfer of fish between vessels, false readings given for weighing fish at sea, and fiddling of fishing quotas.
Judge Graham Cottle said the family were guilty of "wholesale falsification of official documentation" that amounted to a "systematic, repeated and cynical abuse of the EU fishing quota system over a period of 18 months".
He said: "[This was a] flagrant, repeated and long term abuse of regulations. The fish targeted [hake] was at that time a species of fish on the verge if collapse and adherence to quotas was seen as crucial to the survival of the species."
The Spanish fishing vessels had been sailing under UK flags and were landing fish based on quotas given to British fishermen under the EU's common fisheries policy. Two vessels were involved, but the companies own several other large vessels, capable of industrial-scale fishing.
The offending fishermen, who admitted their guilt earlier this year, were not in court to hear him, having been given leave to return to Spain last night. The offences, dating from 2009 and 2010, relate to two companies, Hijos De Vidal Bandin SA and Sealskill Limited, both owned by the Vidal family. They were fined £925,000 on a confiscation order, plus £195,000 in costs, and an additional fine of £250,000 levied on each of the two companies. Two skippers who were acting under the family's instructions were fined £5,000 each.
Ariana Densham, oceans campaigner at Greenpeace, who was present for the trial and judgement, said that the fines, while welcome, did not go far enough. "This group of people should never be allowed near UK fishing quota again," she said. "The Vidal's right to fish should be removed completely."
She said the offences showed the vulnerability of the EU's fishing quota system to fraud. "The system that allowed this to happen needs to be fixed," she said. "This case is not a one off. It's a symptom of Europe's farcical fishing rules. The Vidals were permitted to fish under UK flags, using UK quota, and receive huge EU subsidies, with none of the proceeds ever feeding back into the UK economy. The system is skewed in favour of rich, powerful, industrial-scale fishing companies, when really it should be supporting low-impact, sustainable fishermen."
There are currently moves under way in Brussels by the fisheries commissioner, Maria Damanaki, to reform the EU's common fisheries policy. The proposed reforms – which include the ending of the wasteful practice of discarding healthy and edible fish at sea – have met stiff opposition, particularly from the French and Spanish fishing industries. Spain has the biggest fishing fleet in Europe and receives the lion's share of the subsidies available for fishing within the EU. A historic agreement was reached among member states last month on the proposals, but they must now pass the European parliament, which is expected to consider the proposals later this year.
Monday, 23 July 2012
It will cost two million € to connect the electricity, and nobody wants to pay.The empty Guadalhorce Hosptial in Cártama
The Guadalhorce Hospital has been completed in Cártama on the Costa del Sol, but it has been empty for several months with no opening date planned.
To continue installing the equipment in the hospital it has to be accepted as meeting requirement, and to show that hospital is as planned, but for that to take place it must be connected to the electricity supply.
The problem is that will cost two million €, although the originally quoted price was 300,000 €, to install the electrical connection required. Endesa say the problem is that to supply the hospital an electrical substation at Villafranca del Guadalhorce will have to be expanded.
Cártama Town Hall has said they cannot meet the extra cost, which has put the budget up five fold. Mayor Jorge Gallardo says he thinks the electricity company is ‘making the most of the circumstances’.
However the Junta say they think the 2 million bill should be met by the Town Hall. They say the electricity contract was undertaken by Cártama Town Hall.
The Guadalhorce Hospital has been built thanks to an agreement between the Málaga Diputación, the Junta de Andalucía and the Cártama Town Hall, to give the district its long-wanted hospital. Many foreigners live in the inland area and have complained about the time to get to a hospital in Málaga.
Forest fires raging in Spain's north-eastern Catalonia region have left three people dead, officials say.
Two French nationals drowned in the sea close to the border with France while trying to escape the flames, Catalonia's interior minister said.
Strong winds gusting up to 90km/h (55mph) have rendered one fire "out of control", he said.
All residents of the county of Alt Emporda - about 135,000 people - have been ordered to stay indoors.
The area is a main link for holidaymakers travelling to and from southern France. Traffic on the cross-border AP-7 motorway was reported to have been severely disrupted on Sunday.
The two French victims were among several people who were trapped by fire as they travelled along the N-260 main coastal road near the town of Portbou and tried to reach the sea by climbing down cliffs, according to Catalan Interior Minister Felip Puig.
The victims were a 60-year-old man and his 15-year-old daughter, Spanish media reported.
A 75-year-old man died after suffering a cardiac arrest in Llers, north-west of the area's main town, Figueres.
At least another 19 people have been wounded, including a French national who suffered burns on 80% of his body when he was caught in his car by the flames.
The fire near Portbou has been brought under control, according to media reports, while a much larger blaze further inland, around the border town of La Jonquera, was still spreading late on Sunday, Felip Puig said.
The fire, travelling at about 5-6km/h, came within 10km of Figueres, Mr Puig said.
A total of about 13,000 hectares (32,000 acres) of forest are estimated to have been devastated in the area, according to the authorities.
The Spanish shopping siesta may be about to become the latest victim of the sovereign debt crisis. To stimulate spending after a 23 percent drop in retail sales since 2007, the euro region’s fourth-largest economy this month approved measures that allow shops of more than 300 square meters (3,229 square feet) to open for 25 percent longer a week. The new rules may encourage the outlets to sell during the traditional afternoon snooze from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., and on an additional two Sundays or holidays a year for a total of 10. “When everything was fine, nobody complained, but now that things have gone awry, then it’s another story,” said Carmen Cardeno, director general for domestic commerce at the nation’s economy ministry, which created the rules. “We need to evolve and be more flexible.” Spain is following its European neighbors in trying to liberalize shopping hours that have traditionally been checked by governments in the region to protect religious observances, for rest and on behalf of smaller retailers that have fewer resources to staff shops around the clock. England has allowed retailers to open for longer on Sundays during the Olympics than the six hours usually allowed. In France, food shops can be open 13 hours a day and stores located in tourist areas have the right to open on Sundays. Spanish shops are allowed to open for less time than anywhere else in Europe, according to its government, which was asked by retail associations to allow large stores to open 16 Sundays or holidays a year. Some smaller merchants opposed the extension, arguing that the bigger stores would have the necessary manpower and they wouldn’t. The new measures allow stores 18 additional business hours a week and will permit merchants to decide when to cut prices in sales instead of only twice a year. Siesta Time The country’s regions will get to decide how to implement the rules, though they usually follow the lead of the central government. In Madrid, which is an exception, stores have been able to open for as long as they want since July 15. Outlets of less than 300 square meters also have no restrictions on opening hours, though the Spanish tradition of eating at home and having a siesta means most shopkeepers keep their businesses closed for about two hours in the middle of the day. The new measures may not be enough to offset shrinking demand in Spain’s 217 billion-euro ($264 billion) retail industry, which is worsening each year the crisis goes on in a nation where one in four people is out of work. The number of companies seeking bankruptcy protection rose 22 percent from a year earlier to 2,224 in the first quarter, according to the nation’s statistics institute, with commerce being the third- largest contributor behind construction and housing firms and industrial and energy companies. ‘Almost Insignificant’ Javier Millan-Astray, director general of retail association ANGED, said the approved loosening of restrictions on opening hours doesn’t go far enough. “The government’s reform is almost insignificant,” Millan-Astray told reporters in Madrid, when retail groups pushed for 16 Sunday openings. The associations’ “new proposal would help boost consumption and create more jobs because when we open on a holiday, people come and shop. It’s unbelievable that amid this crisis, we have to keep our stores closed.” Spain has been wrestling with the dilemma of preserving its culture and modernizing the industry for decades. The socialist government of Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in 2004 rolled back liberalization of opening hours instituted by his predecessor, bringing them back to rules from the 1990s and leaving the country with the tightest regulations of any European country. Job Creation Even with the latest proposals, “retail regulation is hurting both business and customers in Spain,” said Fernando Fernandez, a professor at the IE Business School in Madrid. “Both big and small retailers would benefit from fewer restrictions. When big retailers such as Ikea or Zara open a store, all small shops in that area benefit from that.” Ending the restrictions completely would create 337,581 jobs across all industries and add 17.2 billion euros to economic growth this year, according to a study commissioned by the government, which examined the implications of several scenarios. The nearest of those to the current proposals, under which stores open on 16 Sundays or holidays, could have added 47,945 full-time retail jobs, the study found. About 1.8 million people worked in retail in the first quarter, 0.3 percent less than in the year-earlier period. Stores are also bracing for change as the government looks to the retail industry to help boost tax revenue. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will increase the most common rate of sales tax to 21 percent from 18 percent on Sept. 1, putting an additional brake on consumers’ ability to spend. previous
Saturday, 21 July 2012
The World Wildlife Fund’s branch in Spain has ousted King Juan Carlos as its honorary president — a title he’d held since 1968 — after deciding his recent elephant hunting safari was incompatible with its goal of conserving endangered species. The announcement Saturday was the latest in a string of bad news for Spain’s royal family, which has been embarrassed by legal and other scandals. The fund said in a statement that “although such hunting is legal and regulated” it had “received many expressions of distress from its members and society in general.” It said members voted at a meeting Saturday in Madrid to “to get rid of the honorary President” by a substantial majority of 226 votes to 13. The Royal Palace declined immediate comment on the announcement. Many Spaniards were dumbfounded when news broke in April that the king had made a secret journey to hunt elephants in Botswana even though it was widely known he was president of the Spanish branch of the fund. Such an opulent indulgence also angered Spaniards at a time when national unemployment hovers around 25 percent, the economy is contracting and there are fears the country may need an international financial bailout. The Spanish public learned of the safari only after the king had to fly back in a private jet to receive emergency medical attention for a broken hip suffered during the trip. In an unprecedented act of royal contrition, a sheepish Juan Carlos apologized, saying as he left the hospital: “I am very sorry. I made a mistake. It won’t happen again.” It was a poignant moment because the royal family had been under intense media scrutiny for all the wrong reasons. The king’s son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, is a suspect in a corruption case, accused of having used his position to embezzle several million euros in public contracts through a supposedly not-for-profit foundation he’d set up. Over Easter, the king’s 13-year-old grandson, Felipe Juan Froilan, shot himself in the foot with a shotgun, even though Spanish law dictates you must be 14 to handle a gun. The king on Tuesday decided to take a pay cut in solidarity with civil servants who are to lose their traditional Christmas bonuses as part of the government’s most recent austerity drive. The salaries of Juan Carlos and Crown Prince Felipe will be reduced about 7 percent — to about 272,000 euros ($334,000) and 131,000 euros ($160,000) respectively — in line with government policy, the Royal Palace said. The king and prince acted voluntarily in cutting their salaries, the palace said.
Friday, 20 July 2012
Spanish police have clashed with protesters who marched against the latest batch of austerity measures. Over a million public employees, trade union members and fed-up citizens have taken to the streets in over 80 Spanish cities.
Spain, Madrid : people demonstrate against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures in the center of Madrid on July 19, 2012.(AFP Photo / Dominique Faget)Violence erupted in Madrid around midnight. Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd as it tried to reach the congress building. In some more urban areas, activists set garbage containers on fire and tried to block police vehicle access. No injuries or arrests have been reported.
In Barcelona, similar scenes were reported. About a dozen protesters were arrested there, outside the local parliament building.
Demonstrators carried flags and banners decorated with scissors, symbolizing the country's harsh spending cuts. The streets of Madrid were paralyzed by the boundless crowds of people.
The protests were organized by unions, who have been outraged by the government’s new measures – which include an elimination of Christmas bonuses for civil servants.
Earlier Thursday, Spanish Parliament approved a new package of spending cuts and tax hikes aiming to save $80 billion in a bid to take a bite out of the budget deficit. Since the measure was announced last week, Spain has witnessed a series of daily demonstrations, some of which have erupted into violence.
Europe's fourth-largest economy also has the EU's highest unemployment rate. About a quarter of working-age Spaniards are unable to find work.
Firemen spray water over demonstrators during a protest against government austerity measures in Madrid. (REUTERS / Sergio Perez)
Protesters march during a demonstration against government austerity measures, in central Valencia
Demonstrators fill Madrid's Puerta del Sol square during a protest against government austerity measures. (REUTERS / Sergio Perez)
Firefighters pose naked in front of a banner during a demonstration against government cuts inside their fire station in Mieres (REUTERS / Eloy Alonso)
A demonstrator dresses as an skeleton during a protest against government austerity measures in Madrid (REUTERS / Sergio Perez)
Civil servants shout slogans during a protest against government austerity measures in Madrid (REUTERS / Sergio Perez)
Firemen participate in a protest against government austerity measures in Barcelona.(REUTERS / Albert Gea)
SPAIN, Barcelona : A woman holds a banner rwhich translates as "culture is not a luxury" during a demonstration organized by Unions on July 19, 2012 in Barcelona, against the government's welfare cuts. In the latest measures to lower Spain's deficit, conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy announced 65 billion euros' ($80 billion) worth of savings measures. (AFP Photo / Josep Largo)
Spain, Madrid : Thousands of people protest against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, in Madrid, on July 19, 2012. AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Spain, Barcelona : A man protests during a demonstration organized by Unions on July 19, 2012 in Barcelona, against the government's welfare cuts. (AFP Photo / Josep Lago)
Spain, Madrid : Spanish actors Javier Bardem his brother Carlos Bardem and their mother Pilar Bardem demonstrate against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures in Madrid on July 19, 2012. (AFP Photo/ Dominiwue Faget)
Spain, Seville: A woman protests against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, in Seville, on July 19, 2012. (AFP Photo / Cristina Quicler)
Spain, Madrid : A man holds a sign reading "Spaniards, Franco is back" on a street of Madrid during a protest against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, on July 19, 2012. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Spain, Madrid: Riot policemen remain on a street of Madrid during a protest against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, on July 19, 2012. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Spain, Madrid: A man stands in front of riot policemen on a street of Madrid during a protest against the Spanish government's latest austerity measures, on July 19, 2012. (AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre)
Thursday, 12 July 2012
Argentinean man has been shot dead in a Torremolinos street. The victim, aged 20, was shot at least five times in a hail of bullets. His body was found near a Peugeot 308 car with its doors open leading police to believe he may have been with others who fled during the attack. No witnesses have so far come forward although neighbours reported hearing gunshots at around 8.40am in the El Pinillo neighbourhood. Police believe it may have been drug related.
The Samaritans in Spain will carry out regular visits to Brits in jail in Alicante this week following an official launch held today.The prison director, Sub delegate of the Gobierno, and British Council and Samaritans volunteers Being in prison abroad is often a traumatic experience and receiving regular visits from friends and family can be really important. However, a lot of Brits in jail in Spain have their loved ones back in the UK and although the British Consulate is there to help and provide support, there is a limit to how often Consular staff are able to visit. That is why the Consulate in Alicante has developed a prison visiting scheme with the Samaritans in Spain to ensure that Brits held in prison get support and visits in their own language on a regular basis. This project shows again the importance that local charities have in supporting Brits abroad and filling the gap between what the Consulate and the Spanish authorities can do. The launch was held today in the Alicante central government office and attended by their representative, Mr Alberto Martínez Díaz, who recognised the importance of the scheme and thanked the Consulate and the Samaritans for taking the initiative to offer this additional support to British nationals in prison. During the launch the British Consul, Paul Rodwell also thanked the Chris, Nora and Steve from the Samaritans for their hard work in getting this programme off the ground and the volunteers from the Samaritans for their willingness to give up their time and their commitment to carrying out the visits. Mr Rodwell said “I am really pleased that this visiting scheme is now up and running. Sadly, the number of Brits being arrested and in prison in the Costa Blanca has gone up over the last year. I urge people out there to respect the local customs and avoid at all costs getting on the wrong side of the law. Being in prison in a foreign country and trying to communicate in a language you do not understand can be a very stressful experience. That is why the emotional support that the volunteers from Samaritans can offer is all the more important. ” The event launch was also attended by the Samaritans volunteers and the prison director Enrique Valdivieso de la Hoz. For more information on how the Consulate can support British nationals who are arrested abroad visit www.ukinspain.fco.gov.uk and for details of how the Samaritans can help visit their website www.costablancasamaritans.com. British consular assistance: According to Foreign and Commonwealth Office guidance, the British Consulate in Alicante can visit prisoners once a year when on remand, and once again after sentencing. The British Consulate will only visit more frequently if they have a particular concern for a prisoner’s welfare. There are normally between 15-20 British nationals in Foncalent prison in Alicante at one time. Assistance that Consulates of other nationalities can offer may vary to what the British Consulate offers its citizens. Samaritans Spain: The Samaritans in Spain is based on the charity with the same name in the UK, the Samaritans, which aims to provide a non judgemental listening service for people who feel suicidal or are going through difficulties. The service is principally offered by phone on 902 88 35 35. The project in Spain began in September 2005 and was launched in July 2008 with the opening of a branch in Benissa three nights a week. This was followed by the opening of the second branch in Villamartin in January 2009. In March 2009 they increased their opening hours to five evenings a week and this was further increased in January 2010 to seven evenings a week. They recently changed their name to Samaritans in Spain to reflect the fact that they are now available to callers throughout Spain. Samaritans in Spain is operated by Costa Blanca Samaritans which is itself registered with the Generalitat Valenciana as a 100% not-for-profit organisation under CV-01-042952-A and with NIF G54341466. Prison visiting: This will consist in monthly visits to Foncalent prison whereby inmates will be offered group and individual meetings with the volunteers to talk about their concerns
Monday, 9 July 2012
Spanish police have arrested four people for trying to sell a forged Pablo Picasso oil painting for nearly £1m.
The canvas, a counterfeit version of a 1964 work called Buste de Jeune Garçon ("Bust of Young Man"), was accompanied by false authenticity documents bearing the signatures of Paloma, one of the Spanish painter's daughters, and a renowned French art expert.
Investigators sought professional advice from museum experts and determined that the real painting, which is slightly different to the offered fake, carried official certification by Maya Widmaier, the painter's oldest surviving offspring.
Spain's interior ministry said in a statement on Saturday that officers arrested three art brokers involved in the offer for sale and the current owner, a well-known Madrid antiquarian.
17 year old British tourist has survived an eight metre fall from the balcony of his hotel in Magaluf. The fall could have been fatal, but Ultima Hora newspaper reports the tourist was seriously injured. He fractured a knee, injured his legs and arms, and broke a vertebra. The hotel called the emergency service and an ambulance attended to the Briton when they arrived at the scene as he was still conscious. They said it was the back injury which was causing most concern. The Briton is now in hospital. The Local Police and the Guardia Civil have opened an investigation and have established that the man was drunk, and have been questioning those responsible for the apartments. They have also been questioning the man’s friends.
six British women have denounced that they suffered sexual aggressions in the last month. They all were staying near Eivissa. Police sources have confirmed that during June at least six women, all of them from the U.K. and most of them just 18, said they had been raped in tourist establishments in the Portmany Bay, in the municipalities of Sant Antoni and Sant Josep. The security forces have failed to detain anybody in connection with the complaints. They say the victims’ descriptions given in such circumstances are quite bare, but in nearly all of the cases the women say their attacker was also British. Some mention tattoos. They generally say they had just met the attacker. When British tourists have denounced rape in the past, their complaint has generally failed to progress because of inaccuracies in statement and that some complaints have simply turned out to be false. It seems the practice started with a travel insurance policy which included rape, and several countries have detected the fraudulent use of the policy.