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Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Brit shootout on Sant Jordi Alfama residential estate in L'Ametlla de Mar

Posted On 18:10 6 comments

Cataluña regional police believe that some kind of drug-related feud may be behind a shootout on a residential estate in L'Ametlla de Mar (Tarragona) yesterday that left one man dead and two others injured. The incident occurred at a chalet on the calle Rovelló on the Sant Jordi Alfama residential estate at around 4.30pm. One of the protagonists - a 33-year-old German man - was hit four times in the chest and abdomen, and was found already dead in the middle of the street. An Italian man, who was shot in the neck, was airlifted to the Joan XXIII Hospital in Tarragona, where he is recovering after surgery. A British man, who was stabbed in the chest, was arrested after receiving treatment at the local health centre. A second British national, who escaped injury, is helping police with their inquiries.


Monday, 27 October 2008

485 kilos of heroin has been intercepted by law enforcement officers in Spain.

Posted On 11:29 0 comments

Three Spaniards and a Turk were arrested in a dramatic swoop by police on a group of drug traffickers at a motorway toll area in Ávila. The drugs were found in the boot of a car as the traffickers were heading towards Valladolid.



The group were involved in two different drug importing networks, and police also intercepted a 21.5 kilo highly pure heroin consignment which would have been worth three million € on the open market.
So far this year 485 kilos of heroin has been intercepted by law enforcement officers in Spain.


Costa del Sol, supply has exploded and most homes have been built on borrowed money. The developers have mortgages they’ll never, ever repay.

Posted On 11:10 0 comments



Spanish banks’ exposure to housebuilding is higher than in the UK, ranging from 25 to 50 per cent of their balance sheets. Some 18 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product is tied up in construction and associated industries. But the real shocker is the number of new homes - more than three million since 2004, half of them on the coast. Some 800,000 were started last year, despite the absence of any obvious demand.Those who bought after 2003 with a view to selling quickly have accepted price falls of up to 40 per cent, say local estate agents. Even developers such as Taylor Woodrow concede that people ‘have had their fingers burnt’. The company has cut prices on three-quarters of its Spanish stock by as much as 25 per cent. However, most estate agents say anyone brave enough to buy a new home now should be able to negotiate further big reductions.As if the new-build oversupply was not enough, there are also homes on the market that have been repossessed and are being auctioned by banks. Two-bedroom flats with balconies typically cost £77,000, according to www.propertyinspain.net. ‘Many are just a few years old on developments with communal pools and grounds, secure parking and close to beaches,’ says website spokesman Kevin Barnett. He says banks ‘want only their loan and repossession legal costs back’.It is hardly surprising, then, that few sellers are able to shift their homes. They are reluctant to cut asking prices because they want to clear their mortgages, but without big reductions they cannot compete with cheap repossessed homes. Briton Richard Netherside put Calquico, the large restored farmhouse he lives in just north of Barcelona, on the market for €945,000 in August 2007. It is a handsome, three-storey property, with a large outdoor pool and extensive gardens. But his timing was bad - just as the Spanish market slumped, a few weeks before the Northern Rock crisis and as sterling slumped against the euro.
He registered with 10 local estate agents, but only two bothered to visit. By May, no prospective purchaser had been to view it, so he cut the price to €830,000. It now stands at €749,000 (£585,000). ‘With the UK market falling away and the local buyers unable to get loans, we accept we are probably in for an extended wait yet,’ says Mr Netherside, who has set up his own website, www.calquico.com, to try to attract buyers. Kevin Sheehan, a Surrey businessman, has been luckier, although he had to work hard to sell his five-bedroom holiday villa near Valencia. It was originally advertised in the summer of 2006 for €420,000, but after a year there had been ‘nothing even remotely looking like an interested buyer’. In August 2007, he took matters into his own hands and spent the month contacting agents across the world in a bid to attract any interest. He sent 32,000 emails, registering the villa with agents and on free sale-by-owner websites. ‘I had a large number of speculative offers of half the price, but I held my nerve. I reduced it to €320,000, but wouldn’t drop further. In the end I sold it for fairly close to that figure,’ he says.Experts suggest these are just two typical examples among tens of thousands. ‘People have stretched themselves too much and developers have built one ugly scheme after another,’ explains Mark Stucklin, a British property analyst who lives in Barcelona and runs a website for buyers, www.spanishpropertyinsight.com.‘On the Costa del Sol, supply has exploded and most homes have been built on borrowed money. The developers have mortgages they’ll never, ever repay. They owe far more than they’ll get from buyers,’ he says.On top of it all, the exchange rate has worked against sellers in Spain hoping to find British buyers. In October 2007 a €150,000 apartment would have cost about £104,000; now it is roughly £119,000 thanks to the strong euro.In the wider Spanish property market, sales are down 31.5 per cent against this time last year. The biggest slump has been in second-hand homes - sales volumes are down by a half.Many areas with new homes look like ghost towns. A planned new suburb of the inland Catalan town of Vic lies empty. It should by now have hundreds of new homes for Spanish professional owner-occupiers, but one developer has filed for bankruptcy and two others have mothballed their schemes indefinitely. As a result, acres of Vic’s building sites are desolate and the show homes are closed. Only the guard dogs remain.


David Mead, 45, of Beckenham, south-east London, Michael Wilks, 34, of Barking, east London, Martin James Veryard, 39, Arrested 500 kilos found

Posted On 11:01 13 comments

David Mead, 45, of Beckenham, south-east London, Michael Wilks, 34, of Barking, east London, Martin James Veryard, 39, and a Romanian man were arrested in Benijofar and El Garruchal in Murcia. Amanda Goodwin, 48, from Brighton, was arrested after 500 kilos of the drug was found stuffed in compressed blocks in a van at Benijofar, south of Alicante.
Armed officers swooped after discovering the haul, which has a street value of £1.5million. Spanish police suspect it came from northern Africa and was destined for the UK via road with two cars driving ahead to look out for police. All five are awaiting trial in Spain on crimes against the public health.
After obtaining a court order, police searched a property in El Garruchal and arrested two people inside. A stolen luxury car and a Russian gun were found at the property. Two further cars and a motorbike were also seized as part of the operation which followed months of surveillance by Spanish serious organised crime officers.
Spanish police said the operation, codenamed Rostel, started after drug traffickers were caught trying to ship drugs from the Levante coast in the south of Spain to the UK. Southern Spain is a common route for cannabis and other drugs coming into the UK from north Africa.


British teenager who fell six floors from the corridor walkway of a holiday apartment in Spain was in a "very bad" condition in hospital

Posted On 02:33 0 comments

British teenager who fell six floors from the corridor walkway of a holiday apartment in Spain was in a "very bad" condition in hospital.
The man who fell with her - and who is believed to have been trying to save her - is expected to be released from hospital but 18-year-old Jemma France is thought to be in a much worse condition.Lee Cook, 28, and Miss France were found lying beneath the walkway in a pool of blood by hotel staff at 3am .The pair, who the hotel said are from Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester, were on holiday with friends at the Casablanca Apartments in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria.Hotel manager Antonio Campos said today: "At midnight last night the reception was told that Mr Cook was better and was going home."But the woman is very bad. It's believed she fell down first and the man was behind her and fell on top."Friends of Miss France posted their good wishes on her Facebook social networking page.Aimee Tolen said: "Jemma... you're gonna pull through this... everyone is praying for you. Hope it gets better!"
It is thought Lee Cook, 28, 'was trying to save' Jemma France, 18, but both fell from a sixth-floor corridor outside their rooms on the island of Gran Canaria.
But he has told police he remembers nothing about the fall in the early hours of this morning from the Casablanca Apartments in the popular resort of Puerto Rico.
They had fallen from an outside corridor near room 607 where one of the victims had been staying.Mr Campos said: 'The two injured holidaymakers were part of a group of four people that returned in the early hours of this morning.
'They rang on the bell and a night porter let them in and they headed up to their rooms.'A short time later he heard a tremendous noise and groaning sounds.
'He went to investigate and found the injured man and woman on the second floor where the restaurant is.
'I'm certain they wouldn't be alive today if they hadn't fallen on plastic tables at the back of the restaurant.
'The tables cushioned their fall. It was the best place they could have fallen. If they hadn't landed on the tables, they would have smashed against rocks on the hill the apartments back onto.
'There's no doubt the fall was an accident. Everyone's saying it was an accident, the police, the victims' friends and Thomas Cook, who the injured pair and their friends had been travelling with.
'The woman tumbled first and took the man with her. It may be she tried to grab on to him as she fell and took him with her or he tried to save her and he ended up falling with her.
'The friends are all youngsters and they're very shaken up by what's happened.
'The man is going to be okay and we're just hoping the woman pulls through. She's in a very bad way.'
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Gran Canaria, which has launched an investigation, said: 'We can confirm two British holidaymakers, an 28-year-old man and an 18-year-old woman, have been injured in a fall from their apartment block.
'We are currently investigating the causes so there is nothing more we can say at the moment.'
A female friend was today at Jemma's bedside. Her parents are thought to have been informed. Lee is thought to have celebrated his 28th birthday on Tuesday on the island. His life is not in any danger.
A receptionist at the apartment overlooking the Atlantic where they fell said: 'No-one appears to have seen anything and so no-one knows what's happened at the moment.
'Police are interviewing the couple's friends to try to get to the bottom of it all. They're all out of the hotel at the moment.'
Puerto Rico, once a small fishing village, is now a popular resort in the south-west of Gran Canaria.
It attracts tourists all year round and autumn is one of its busiest times of the year.
The Casablanca apartment complex is built on a hill half a mile from the beach overlooking the resort and the marina. It is popular with families and couples and most of its guests are British.


David and Susan Mills it was like a scene from a horror movie, there was so much blood, then we spotted a body slumped on the stairs next to the lift.

Posted On 02:23 0 comments

David and Susan Mills were halfway through a week in Majorca and getting ready for a night out when they heard a raised voices from the corridor of their apartment complex, followed by a scream and a thud.Thinking it was drunken youths, the South Shields couple continued getting ready, and it was only when they stepped into the corridor 20 minutes later that they saw blood splattered across the walls and a man lying face down on the stairway."We couldn't believe it," said Mrs Mills. "It was like a scene from a horror movie, there was so much blood, then we spotted a body slumped on the stairs next to the lift."The couple, from Gainsborough Avenue, Whiteleas, South Shields, had been staying at the Los Palomos complex in Palma Nova, when their holiday nightmare began on Saturday, October 4.
Mrs Mills, 46, said: "I was putting my make up on and David was brushing his teeth. We could hear a commotion outside, but it was all foreign and we couldn't understand what they were saying."Then we heard a man scream and a thud, we were going to go outside but we though it was probably just drunken kids messing about, so carried on getting ready."The couple, who booked their trip through Going On Holiday Ltd, then left their apartment on the second floor and made their way to the lifts."The corridor outside our apartment was very dark, so you had to switch lights on as you went along it," said Mr Mills, 51, a taxi driver. "But when we put the first light one, we saw blood everywhere up the walls. We carried on walking and found the man lying there."The couple then heard shouts from the floor above saying "no touch, no touch". After a brief conversation with the person who called out to them, Mr Mills established that the emergency services had been called, and at that point pushed his wife into the lift.


Amanda Goodwin was arrested after 500 kilos of the drug was found stuffed in compressed blocks in a van at Benijofar, south of Alicante

Posted On 02:20 1 comments

Amanda Goodwin, 48, from Brighton, was arrested after 500 kilos of the drug was found stuffed in compressed blocks in a van at Benijofar, south of Alicante. Armed officers swooped after discovering the haul, which has a street value of £1.5million. Spanish police suspect it came from northern Africa and was destined for the UK via road with two cars driving ahead to look out for police. David Mead, 45, of Beckenham, south-east London, Michael Wilks, 34, of Barking, east London, Martin James Veryard, 39, and a Romanian man were also arrested in Benijofar and El Garruchal in Murcia. All five are awaiting trial in Spain on crimes against the public health. After obtaining a court order, police searched a property in El Garruchal and arrested two people inside. A stolen luxury car and a Russian gun were found at the property. Two further cars and a motorbike were also seized as part of the operation which followed months of surveillance by Spanish serious organised crime officers. Spanish police said the operation, codenamed Rostel, started after drug traffickers were caught trying to ship drugs from the Levante coast in the south of Spain to the UK. Southern Spain is a common route for cannabis and other drugs coming into the UK from north Africa.


Sunday, 26 October 2008

BEAR ATTACK: 73-year-old man was attacked as he was hunting wild boar with his dog in the Aran region of the Pyrenees mountains

Posted On 21:41 0 comments

73-year-old man was attacked as he was hunting wild boar with his dog in the Aran region of the Pyrenees mountains on Thursday morning, Spanish media said.
The Bear passed within two metres (six feet) of him. He tried to scare it off, but was attacked instead, and finally escaped by firing his rifle into the air, the newspaper El Pais said.He needed stitches in his leg and arm, and was discharged from hospital.Cattle and sheep farmers in the Pyrenees, which straddle the Spanish-French border, resent the presence of the bears.In 2004, hunters on the French side of the border shot dead a 15-year-old female bear, sparking outrage from environmentalists.Local authorities Friday launched a search for the animal involved in the attack, which they believe is a bear known as Hvala and which was brought from Slovenia in 2006.There are believed to be around 20 brown bears surviving in the Pyrenees mountains, eight of which are in the Aran region.One regional official, Francesc Boya, demanded that the bears be captured and withdrawn."Aran and the Pyrenees are not the African savanna, they are populated regions where contact between people and the environment is very direct," he told the regional parliament in Aran.


Bulldozers moved in yesterday morning to knock down a number of properties

Posted On 21:26 0 comments


hamlet of Cho Vito does not meet the requirements of the Ley de Costas, Coastal Law
Bulldozers moved in to knock down a number of properties at the fisherman’s hamlet of Cho Vito in Santa Cruz de Tenerife as the homes do not meet the regulations of the Coastal Law.Crowds gathered to witness the moment as the oldest of the properties, dating from 1939 and owned by the man whose name, Cho Vito, now also refers to the whole district, was demolished. By the end of yesterday only 7 of the 31 homes remained standing and some 60 people had been evicted from the properties.More than 100 people including Guadia Civil and others were needed to enforce the evictions of some of the residents of the property under the judicial order.


Thousands of Spaniards and foreigners who have homes on the front line of beaches across the country now face losing their properties

Posted On 21:23 0 comments


United Kingdom and Germany have asked Spain for explanations for what they consider to be abusive expropriations of property owned by their subjects in Spain. Britain has already asked for information from both the Spanish Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, and the Spanish ambassador. The case is highlighted in today’s edition of El País, and looks as homes which now face demolition under the Ley de Costas, Coastal Law, which came into force in 1988, but which has not really been applied to any extent until 2004 which the arrival of Cristina Narbona as Minister for the Environment.Thousands of Spaniards and foreigners who have homes on the front line of beaches across the country now face losing their properties. Under the law they can use them for at least 30 years, but they cannot sell or extend them, and they need special permission to carry out any type of reforms. The paper concentrates on the case of the Briton Cliff Carter and others at the La Casbah urbanisation in El Saler in Valencia.A statement from the Ministry of the Environment says that they have no intention of changing the current legislation.
The British consuls are reported to be recommending British citizens to complain to the Defensor del Pueblo, the Spanish ombudsman, or to take their case to the European Parliament which has already been informed of the problem. Britain says she understands that Spain wants to limit construction along the coast, but they do not share the method by which they are expropriating property, considering that it affects those who have purchased in good faith.The Ley de Costa establishes that the coastline land defined as ‘dominio público marítimo terrestre’ can see no homes or swimming pools, but that those built before 1988 will move into state ownership but will give the owners a 30 year use of the property, which can be extended to 60 years in some cases.


Allegations of corruption in San Fulgencio have ended with the arrest of the Chief of the Local Police.

Posted On 21:19 1 comments

Allegations of corruption in San Fulgencio have ended with the arrest of the Chief of the Local Police.Bernardo Cortijo, who has only been in the post for less than a year after a motion of censure, was detained yesterday in an operation carried out on the orders of the anti-corruption prosecutor and Court number three in Orihuela. It appears that he is linked to the bribery case which has already resulted in the arrest and imprisonment on remand of the independent councillor Manuel Barrera.Barrera is alleged to have accepted 5,000 € in exchange for his support for a building project with 4,600 homes. COSTA former deputy mayor and leading councillor for an expat political party has been remanded in prison without bail after being charged with bribery disclosed by a video recording.Manuel Barrera – former deputy mayor of San Fulgencio and president of the Agrupación Independiente del Mediterráneo (AIM) party – was arrested on Monday and taken in handcuffs to the town hall where police searched his office and then his house in La Marina.
He and his partner were placed in the cells at the National Police headquarters in Alicante.She was released on Tuesday after making a declaration and handing in the 5,000 euros involved in the case.On Wednesday evening Sr Barrera was questioned by a judge for three hours before being sent to prison.The scandal blew up last Friday when a regional newspaper published a video and transcript of Sr Barrera meeting with two businessmen in a restaurant in which he appeared to take an envelope containing 5,000 euros in return for ‘favouring’ a construction project.The meeting took place in Valencia in September and was captured by a hidden camera.Alicante’s anticorruption prosecutor Felipe Briones launched a judicial investigation and ordered the newspaper to hand over the tape.In it, the men claim to represent a Catalan construction firm and say they have between 200,000 and 240,000 euros available.The 5,000 euros is the first instalment if ‘you are our man’, they state.
“I don’t give away my work, because my work is my time; if I take time from doing what I like, which is being with my partner, my boat, my fishing, my sailing, travelling and my dogs, I’m very sorry but this has to be paid for,” Sr Barrera replies.“Then there’s another thing; we are all going to benefit from my knowledge and my experience, and this also has a price.”He subsequently agrees on the quantity and says that large notes are better ‘because they take up less space.’
“As soon as anyone talks, the deal is off,” he adds.


Derek Cowan body was found in his flat in Barcelona this month

Posted On 21:16 0 comments

Derek Cowan body was found in his flat in Barcelona this month. The body of Scottish businessman, Derek Cowan, was found bludgeoned to death in a pool of blood by his German business partner.Derek Cowan had been living in Spain for the past seven years.Detectives investigating the murder want to interview a former business associate, William Madley, who was due to meet with Mr Cowan on October 8, the last day he was seen alive.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office have confirmed that they are in contact with the Spanish authorities and a full investigation is underway by the Catalan regional police, Los Mossos d’Esquadra.


British couple in their 20’s has been given a six month prison sentence in Málaga

Posted On 21:15 0 comments

British couple in their 20’s has been given a six month prison sentence in Málaga after they were found guilty of insulting and hitting a 42 year old Spanish man, Marco Antonio Nieto, last weekend in Benalmádena. The man had intervened in an argument between the two, asking the woman if she was alright, only to be insulted and kicked by both of them. He suffered a deep gash to his head, a dislocated elbow, and other injuries.The six month prison sentence will be reduced to two months if the couple comply with certain prosecution requests, and pay the victim compensation for the time he will have to be off work.


National Police in Alicante have broken up a gang which gave false residency papers and sexually exploited immigrants

Posted On 21:14 0 comments

National Police in Alicante have broken up a gang which gave false residency papers and sexually exploited immigrants. Most of the victims came from Eastern Europe.
There have been eight arrests so far in the case, with most of those arrested also from Eastern Europe, and some of them also in Spain illegally. Their activity was based in Torrevieja were a home has been searched. This was used as a warehouse where stolen goods were kept before being sold on. Many of the goods were top line fashion items, and systems to cancel out store security alarms were also found.


Club Class Holidays, based in Fuengirola, is reported to be taking between 3,000 and 30,000 euros to join holiday clubs offering cheap luxury breaks

Posted On 21:07 12 comments

Club Class Holidays, based in Fuengirola, is reported to be taking between 3,000 and 30,000 euros to join holiday clubs offering cheap luxury breaks which buyers claim fail to materialise.The company, which has links to former timeshare salesman Costa Killer Tony King, uses a training manual that teaches staff how to crudely fool customers.In a sales manual for staff, trainees are told to treat customers “as if they have the intelligence of 10-year-olds” and to use “bribery, intimidation and lies” to get customers to the presentations in the first place.Middle-aged and elderly couples are the main targets of the holiday-club sharks, who promise a lifetime of five-star hotels anywhere in the world at knockdown prices.But instead of a dream holiday in the Caribbean, they are being offered low-grade hotels and apartments on the Costa del Sol that can be bought just as cheaply at any travel agent.Other buyers find they cannot choose holiday dates and are committed to annual subscriptions even if they do not go away.In a ruse identical to the timeshare salesmen, many victims are approached while on holiday by sales reps who give them scratchcards saying they have won a bottle of champagne or a free holiday.
To collect the “prize” they must attend a presentation, which turns into a high-pressure sales pitch lasting five or six hours.Consumer watchdogs are so concerned about the hard-sell tactics used by some club reps that they are leafleting UK and foreign airports warning holidaymakers about the one-billion-euro-a-year business.
David and Lesley Sylvester, both 60, from Derbyshire, in the UK, agreed to go on a cut-price £99, one-week holiday to Tenerife.As part of the deal, they had to attend a five-hour sales presentation by agents representing a company called Club Class Concierge - and ended up handing over thousands of pounds.“The next morning we recognised its implausibility and asked for our money back,” said David.But unlike timeshare sales, where clients can cancel within 14 days, the Sylvesters say there was no cooling-off period, and they could not cancel.The couple paid £10,050 to join a holiday scheme called Estrella Dorada Mediterrenees.When they tried a “castle holiday” in Austria, they were taken to a rundown students’ hostel in Vienna.
They have now successfully taken the company to court in Barcelona, where a judge ruled the couple should get a refund.New EU laws recently announced by the European Commission will bring holiday clubs into line with rules that now protect timeshare buyers – but these will not come into force until 2010.Steve Wright, 48, signed a £5,000 deal with a company called Designer Way Vacation Club, after attending a sales presentation in Huddersfield.He said: “I was fortunate because I found out in time and I wrote off the £950 deposit.”British members of the Designer Way Vacation Club, operating in the Canary Islands, were charged between £8,000 and £12,000 for a website “key” giving them access to “huge” discounts.Instead, they mostly got normal online travel agencies whose offers they could have found themselves on the internet.The UK’s Office of Fair Trading reckons 400,000 Britons get sucked into holiday-club scams every year.Sandy Grey, of the Timeshare Consumers’ Association, said: “I would urge people not to go anywhere near these scams.”No one was available to comment at the Spanish HQ of Designer Way Vacation Club.
Both Club Class and Designer Way have close links to timeshare millionaire Garry Leigh, who is the brother in law and former employer of Costa Killer Tony King.
Leigh, who has been operating on the Costa del Sol for over a decade, has a shady past.His companies are well-known to the Office of Fair Trading.
Leigh started making his fortune in the 1990s, when he and his father, Tom, ran a Yorkshire-based pyramid-selling scheme called the FPW Club.
They advertised with the slogan ‘Turn £140 into £600 as many times as you like! It’s as simple as that! No catch, no limits.’Garry and his father reportedly tricked 8,500 investors out of more than £8 million before the Department of Trade & Industry won a court order to stop them.One of his companies, Matchoption Ltd, went bust owing £300,000. His “silent backers” are said to include notorious Costa gangsters Dennis New and Mohammed Derbah, who helped him get his early Spanish scams off the ground.It is a dirty business that saw Leigh’s Málaga offices teargassed in 2002 and Leigh seriously injured by knife-wielding thugs.His Incentive Leisure office in Fuengirola in southern Spain is a large impressive building.Leigh and co-director Kim Bambroffe turn up in luxury Bentley cars.
In a recent investigation, the Sunday Mirror claims workers were told to treat customers as practically subhuman.
The bible of shame instructs staff to “sell the sizzle not the sausage” and refers to customers as “UPs” - industry slang for gullible punters.


Irish-linked drugs distribution network in Spain ordered two pipebomb threats carried out

Posted On 21:00 1 comments

Irish gangster based in Spain is believed to have ordered two pipebomb threats carried out yesterday. Detectives were last night working on the theory that the pipebombs, which were viable and packed with homemade explosive, were sent as a warning to a man who was allegedly in debt to the gangster.The man does not live at either of the west-Dublin addresses targeted by the attacker.The gangster is originally from the north inner city and is connected to a former-gangland figure, who was the subject of a major investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Gardai believe he has been in control of an Irish-linked drugs distribution network in Spain since earlier this year.One of the devices was found at a house in Ronanstown yesterday morning and the other at an address in Ballyfermot shortly afterwards.Both of the pipebombs had been left under parked cars. Army bomb-disposal teams made each device safe and broke them down into component parts before taking them away for forensic examination.The tests confirmed that the devices were viable and contained quantities of homemade explosive. There were similar-ities in the construction of the pipebombs.Last night, the remains were handed over by the army to the gardai.Earlier, an old training grenade was found during a planned garda search at Grove Lane in Coolock. It was examined by an army ordinance team, who established that it had no explosive content.On its way back to barracks from the Ballyfermot incident, the army team was diverted to a fourth call-out at Oliver Bond flats, off Thomas Street.The device, which had been found by Dublin city council workers in a vent in a flat during routine maintenance work, was a hoax.
All of the scenes were cordoned off during the army examinations and several houses were evacuated during two of them.Meanwhile, three shots were fired at a convicted heroin dealer as he drove his car through Finglas yesterday afternoon.Last night, local gardai were trying to find a motive for the attack. The intended target was not injured.Gardai believe the target is a former associate of murdered gangland boss Martin "Marlo" Hyland.


Jock Barker, had been on the run from Strathclyde Police since 1999 when he disappeared while on bail for drug offences.

Posted On 20:52 0 comments

Jock Barker, had been on the run from Strathclyde Police since 1999 when he disappeared while on bail for drug offences. British police tracked him down and extradited him back to Scotland so he could be brought to justice.Barker was convicted of dealing cocaine and amphetamines in Scotland. In March 1999, in a massive surveillance operation, undercover police watched as he accepted cocaine in the car park of Wellbeck Golf Club in Troon. He fled the scene and threw bags of cocaine out of the car window during the chase that followed. The previous year he had been spotted supplying amphetamines in Renfrewshire. The drugs involved in the two incidents were worth £141,000.As he passed sentence at the end of the trial this week, Judge John Morrice told Barker, who was one of the UK's ten most wanted criminals, that drug dealing was evil and a scourge on society.Barker, originally from Irvine, Ayrshire, is just the latest criminal to be brought back to Britain as part of a crackdown on the infamous ''Costa del Crime''.The crackdown, labelled Operation Captura, has been orchestrated by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) alongside UK charity Crimestoppers and Spanish police.The collaboration was launched in 2006, with Soca appealing for information from ex-pat communities and holidaymakers, publishing "Most Wanted" lists on the Crimestoppers website.
Once Soca has identified the whereabouts of the criminal it contacts Interpol, then the Spanish authorities, who make the arrest locally.Crimestoppers' director of operations Dave Cording said: "Operation Captura has been a great success, with 13 criminals arrested from 30 images posted on our website."These individuals are extremely dangerous and have committed serious crime including murder, drug trafficking and fraud worth millions of pounds. With 'Most Wanted', they have nowhere to hide. Their picture is on the net for all to see."Criminals escaping to Spain is nothing new. It first started in the late 1960s largely on the back of London bank robberies.It was dangerous for criminals to have large quantities of stolen cash sitting around so they started investing in property in Europe, particularly Spain.Extradition was rare, partly due to tension between Britain and Spain over Gibraltar in the late 1970s. Large ex-pat communities gave criminals a cloak to hide under, and the movement away from Britain also meant crooks moved out from under the scrutiny of the British authorities. They were unknown to police on the continent, and the lack of co-operation between European law enforcement agenciesmade it difficult to catch and extradite criminals.Professor Graeme Pearson, former head of the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency (SCDEA),
said: "Criminals moving to Spain were relatively safe because of the inability of law enforcement to acquire warrants and gather evidence across Europe."The creation of organisations like Europol, Interpol and Eurojust all helped to change that as these organisations have led to joint investigation teams. "Whereas in the past doing a criminal investigation in Spain was extremely difficult, the new organisations have enabled law enforcers to work together and co-operate internationally."Prof Pearson also said that the Barker case shows criminals no longer have safe havens in places like Spain.He said: "Perhaps in the past Barker would have been safe in Spain, but now it is much easier for the authorities to catch criminals based in one place. "Law enforcement still finds it difficult to move as fast as the criminals but the creation of European arrest warrants has made it easier to bring criminals back to Britain."
European arrest warrants came into force in Britain on 1 January 2004 and have been used 43 times between Scotland and Spain since then. Mungo Bovey QC, an expert in extradition law, said: "The introduction of the European arrest warrant now makes the process of extradition much faster than it used to be."This makes it very difficult for criminals associated with the 'Costa del Crime' to hide in Spanish beach towns, and the days of criminals lurking in Spain evading the authorities are now becoming a thing of the past."British fugitives living the high-life on the Costa del Sol has been a source of fascination since those believed to be behind the £6 million Security Express robbery in 1983 moved to Spain. Ronnie Knight, former husband of EastEnders star Barbara Windsor, spent a decade on the run there.
Another notorious criminal who fled to Spain was Kenneth Noye, who laundered proceeds from the 1983 Brinks Mat gold bullion robbery.The area has long been a haven, not just for "retired" criminals, as highlighted in gangster films such as Sexy Beast and The Business, but also used as a base for drug running. In the past, criminals have used the coast to ferry cocaine from Africa and Colombia.
Prof Pearson said: "The British police found it difficult to investigate from a distance, as did Customs and Excise, as they were rarely able to gather evidence.
"Spanish law enforcement was focused on its own national priorities, which did not include the British crime families."At the same time the criminals were building up financial empires capable of being protected by white-collar professionals abroad, as well as corruption. It was only once the drugs arrived on the streets of Britain that officials could see the harm it caused. But linking that back to the organisation behind it, located in Spain, and thereafter generating investigative action, was frustratingly difficult."Detective Chief Superintendent Gavin Robertson, of the SCDEA, said living abroad was no longer any protection for criminals.
He said: "Where drug traffickers or other serious organised criminals from Scotland elect to live abroad, either in the hope of continuing with their criminality or living off the proceeds of their illegally obtained wealth, let me be clear that they are not beyond our reach."We will take all lawful measures to locate them and ensure they face the consequences of their actions. Scotland's communities expect and are entitled to nothing less."


Saturday, 25 October 2008

Irish gangster based in Spain is believed to have ordered two pipebomb threats carried out yesterday.

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Irish gangster based in Spain is believed to have ordered two pipebomb threats carried out yesterday. Detectives were last night working on the theory that the pipebombs, which were viable and packed with homemade explosive, were sent as a warning to a man who was allegedly in debt to the gangster.The man does not live at either of the west-Dublin addresses targeted by the attacker.The gangster is originally from the north inner city and is connected to a former-gangland figure, who was the subject of a major investigation by the Criminal Assets Bureau.
Gardai believe he has been in control of an Irish-linked drugs distribution network in Spain since earlier this year.One of the devices was found at a house in Ronanstown yesterday morning and the other at an address in Ballyfermot shortly afterwards.Both of the pipebombs had been left under parked cars. Army bomb-disposal teams made each device safe and broke them down into component parts before taking them away for forensic examination.The tests confirmed that the devices were viable and contained quantities of homemade explosive. There were similar-ities in the construction of the pipebombs.Last night, the remains were handed over by the army to the gardai.Earlier, an old training grenade was found during a planned garda search at Grove Lane in Coolock. It was examined by an army ordinance team, who established that it had no explosive content.On its way back to barracks from the Ballyfermot incident, the army team was diverted to a fourth call-out at Oliver Bond flats, off Thomas Street.The device, which had been found by Dublin city council workers in a vent in a flat during routine maintenance work, was a hoax.
All of the scenes were cordoned off during the army examinations and several houses were evacuated during two of them.Meanwhile, three shots were fired at a convicted heroin dealer as he drove his car through Finglas yesterday afternoon.Last night, local gardai were trying to find a motive for the attack. The intended target was not injured.Gardai believe the target is a former associate of murdered gangland boss Martin "Marlo" Hyland.


Friday, 24 October 2008

Six members of Kosovo gang have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja.

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Six members of Kosovo gang have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja.
A statement from the Civil Guard barracks in Alicante said that those arrested were thought to be part of a gang which had taken part in as many as 31 burglaries from factories in the Alicante and Murcia areas, causing ‘grand social alarm’. More than 86,000 € in cash as well as other items is believed to have been taken by the gang.
Investigations into the case started last December and it is believed that as many as eight people make up the entire gang. A series of searches were carried out with the arrests, leading to the impounding of mobile phone and radio telephone equipment, as well as other items and tools. Those arrested will appear in court shortly.


Alicante port thousand brand new mobile phones, which police believe may have been stolen, were found in the back of a van with fake British plates.

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45-year-old man was arrested at Alicante port yesterday after around a thousand brand new mobile phones, which police believe may have been stolen, were found in the back of a van with fake British plates. Apart from the phones, dozens of replica display phones, external memory sticks, computer games as well as digital sound and image devices were found, leading police to conclude that they may have been stolen from at least one computer or mobile phone shop. The man, whose nationality has not been confirmed, was detained as he was about to board a ferry to Oran in Algeria.
The Spanish National Police have requested assistance from their counterparts in France and the UK to identify the van and to ascertain if there have been any reported robberies recently involving digital equipment suppliers.


Madrid police have arrested five members of a criminal gang

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Madrid police have arrested five members of a criminal gang specialised in robbing drug traffickers by disguising themselves as police officers. The arrests were made as the gang was about to confiscate 264kg of high grade cocaine being stored in a warehouse in Alcalá de Henares by four Colombians, who were also detained.
During the investigation it came to light that the gang, which was led by an Italian, had been keeping tabs on their intended targets for some time using an array of high-tech surveillance equipment installed in a specially-adapted commercial van, which was confiscated. Four handguns, silencers, fake police badges, police vests, handcuffs, €14,000 euros in cash, four cars and a motorcycle were later seized in three police raids at addresses in Madrid city centre, Majadahonda and Alcalá de Henares.


Wednesday, 22 October 2008

John Barker fled to Tenerife nine years ago while on bail for cocaine and amphetamine trafficking charges.

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John Barker fled to Tenerife nine years ago while on bail for cocaine and amphetamine trafficking charges. The 51-year-old, from Irvine, Ayrshire, was caught earlier this year after he appeared on a list of suspected British criminals thought to be in Spain. During his trial, he had denied any involvement with drugs. Barker was wanted by Strathclyde Police under two arrest warrants. They related to trafficking drugs, valued at more than £110,000, within Scotland in 1998 and 1999.
He was extradited earlier this year after his details were posted on a Crimestoppers website targeting Spanish resorts. The operation was co-ordinated by Britain's Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) and the Spanish authorities. Bill Hughes, of Soca, said: "British crooks who thought they could enjoy a yachts and villas lifestyle in Spain have received a nasty shock. "Many of them are now experiencing a rather different lifestyle at Her Majesty's pleasure."


David Hartley seeking a court order to allow to be transferred from a prison in Barcelona back to England to serve his sentence

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David Hartley was jailed for 16 years in Spain last month after being convicted of killing his friend Paul Pedersen at a campsite near Barcelona six years ago.
Hartley, who was a drug user and drinker, strangled Danish holidaymaker Pedersen as he slept on the night of 23rd June 2002 before stealing 200 euros from his victim's pocket.After the attack, Hartley fled back to Mansfield but was arrested for the murder later that year.Despite a two-year battle by solicitor Paul Bacon to try to stop Hartley being extradited, the Home Secretary ordered that the 41-year-old return to Spain to await his trial.Now four years on, Mr Bacon is seeking a court order to allow Hartley to be transferred from a prison in Barcelona back to England to serve his sentence.
Speaking to Chad this week, Mr Bacon said: "Hartley has been in Spain for the last four years after we lost the fight to stop his extradition."He cannot speak any Spanish other than the odd word he has picked up in prison while awaiting his trial and he wants to be close to his family."He has kept in touch with his relatives, but being in Spain obviously makes visiting him difficult or impossible for some of his elderly relatives."I believe he stands a good chance of being transferred to a prison in England to serve his sentence, but because the Spanish judicial system is so slow it may take some time."


Four Britons arrested with half ton of of hashish in Alicante and Murcia

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Five people were arrested, four Britons and a Romanian, in Benijófar, Alicante and El Garruchal, Murcia.One of the main players in the group had a chalet in El Garruchal, and it was there that the drugs were loaded into a van.The arrested men were part of the group thought to be planning to take the drug by van to the U.K., with two advance vehicles warning of any police presence.The National Police say their operation, codenamed ‘Rostel’ was mounted after another group based in SE Spain tried to take drugs to the U.K. from ports on the Levante coast.
A stolen luxury car and Russian firearm were also impounded in the police operation.


Friday, 17 October 2008

Lee Cook and Jemma France from Manchester were found outside covered in blood by the hotel’s porter.

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British couple from Manchester are in hospital on Gran Canaria after falling from the sixth floor balcony of their holiday apartment.28 year old Lee Cook and 18 year old Jemma France were found outside covered in blood by the hotel’s porter. They had landed on plastic tables which are thought to have broken their fall.They were on holiday with eight friends, taking four rooms between them at the Casablanca Apartments in Puerto Rico, Gran Canaria.
Police have opened a full investigation into the fall which happened at 3am yesterday morning.


Drug ring arrested accused of smuggling cocaine from Spain into Italy

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Italian police say they have broken up a drug ring accused of smuggling cocaine from Spain into Italy and arrested 22 people.Police in the southern city of Battipaglia say police made the arrests in pre-dawn raids Wednesday across the Campania region. They also seized 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of cocaine.Police say one of the detained suspects is Spanish and the rest are Italian. Three more suspects are still being sought.


Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Thieves broke into a jewellery shop

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Thieves broke into a jewellery shop in Las Americas in the early hours of Thursday morning, getting away with 80,000 euros worth of gold and jewellery.The thieves gained entry to the premises in Avenida Rafael Puig, through the back door leading to an inner office, after cutting their way through a wire fence.
Staff arrived for work yesterday morning to find display cabinets broken and trays of gold rings and bracelets missing.
The thieves appear to have left in a hurry as several pieces of jewellery were found outside, apparently dropped in the haste of making their getaway.
Forensic experts were quickly on the scene yesterday morning to try to find clues as to the identity of the thieves


x-rays revealed they were carrying 675g of cocaine in capsules in their stomachs.

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Two people were arrested this morning at Tenerifes south airport and charged with attempting to smuggle cocaine into the island.The two have been identified as F.S.G.M., a 26-year-old Colombian man and K.A.P.G., a 19-year-old woman from Ecuador.Guardia Civil officers at the airport became suspicious when the two appeared to be nervous when coming through customs.After a check of their luggage produced no illegal substances, the two were transferred to a local hospital where x-rays revealed they were carrying 675g of cocaine in capsules in their stomachs.


Sunday, 12 October 2008

Four Britons have been arrested in connection with the latest shooting incident in Puerto Banús

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Four Britons have been arrested in connection with the latest shooting incident in Puerto Banús on September 24 of club security boss, Marvin Herbert, originally from Liverpool.Named by the police as 40 year old M.A.A., 62 year old K.A.A., 59 year old M.Z.S., and 40 year old M.L.K., all four are believed to have taken part in the attempted assassination. The victim was shot five times in his right eye, right leg, right arm, pelvis and genitals, and remains in hospital in a serious condition after undergoing surgery two times.The police operation in the case has now been named ‘Cristalino’ and considers the shooting to be drugs related.


British girl saw her mother and sister swept away by floods in Spain and killed, officials said today.

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British girl saw her mother and sister swept away by floods in Spain and killed, officials said today. The victims, aged 47 and 14, were crossing a gully on foot in L'Olleria, near Valencia, to get to their house yesterday evening. The mother was named as Lauren Cullen. She and her daughter had lived in Spain for the past four years, local police said. The pair were trying to cross the River Clariano to get home but were carried off by the current. Their bodies were retrieved this morning.
The woman's other daughter and another woman were with them but managed to get out of the river and alert police. A spokesman for L'Olleria's town hall said: "Everyone in the area is shocked at what happened. "The dead women, a mother and her daughter, are both British. "One of the survivors is the mother's other daughter. She was waiting for her mum and sister to cross before she followed." The British Embassy in Spain said local consular officials were providing assistance to the family. The Valencia region has experienced heavy rains in recent days. Rainwater inundated streets, tunnels and garages and blocked roads and railway lines in the Valencia region. The ports of Valencia, Gandia and Sagunto were closed. In southern Spain, stormy weather prompted the suspension of ferry links with the Moroccan port of Tangier and Spain's north African enclave of Ceuta. A firefighter who went to empty a flooded garage sustained burns from equipment and another person was injured by a mudslide in Ceuta.


Saturday, 11 October 2008

Gerard John Dutton convicted lorry had travelled across from Alicante, Spain and had hidden 1.5 tonnes of the drug in six pallets of floor tiles.

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Gerard John Dutton, 61, of Saddlemakers Lane, Melton, Woodbridge, Suffolk, set up two false companies in order to facilitate the importation of two separate loads of cannabis and admitted the charge at Kingston Crown Court on Wednesday 8 October.
The charge was a result of Operation Cromer, an investigation run by the Met's Project Team, which spent seven months identifying an organised criminal network involved in importing and supplying cannabis from southern Spain.The team passed intelligence onto H.M. Revenue and Customs (HMRC) and on 3 April, they stopped and searched a Spanish registered lorry arriving into Dover's eastern docks. The lorry had travelled across from Alicante, Spain and had hidden 1.5 tonnes of the drug in six pallets of floor tiles.On 8 July, HMRC officers stopped a further Spanish registered lorry as it came through the port of Dover. In this instance they discovered six pallets of 'dressed stone', hiding a further 1.56 tonnes of cannabis resin.Dutton was subsequently arrested the same day in North Yorkshire and brought back to London for questioning.The lorry drivers and haulage companies involved in the case were innocent victims, duped into believing the loads were genuine cargos of tile and stone.Detective Inspector Grant Johnson from the Met's Project Team, said: "Dutton went out of his way to dissociate himself from the cargo, by setting up two false companies.


Alhaurin el Grande ,Five people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil

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Five people have been arrested by the Guardia Civil in Alhaurin el Grande for possessing over 50 marijuana plants in their houses. In one of the houses, the Guardia Civil discovered a five square metre plantation. The plants measured over 2.5 metres in height and weighed five kilograms. The residents of the house, identified only by the initials, J.V.M.R., F.A.H., and L.M.H., were arrested on suspicion of offences against public health.In the second house, the Guardia Civil found a plantation of 41 plants and 61 dry branches, weighing 23 kilograms. Some 4.3 grams of hashish was also found and M.M.R. and J.M.B., the residents of the house, were arrested.


House jacking Romanian and a Spaniard sentenced to total of 18 years and 6 months in jail for holding a British couple hostage

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Provincial Court in Alicante has sent a Romanian and a Spaniard to total of 18 years and 6 months in jail for holding a British couple hostage in their home in Moraira, Alicante in April 2004. The two acted with two others to kidnap and rob the couple in the ‘Club Moraira’ urbanisation, threatening them with a knife and two pistols and finally leaving the wife tied up in a house in Cabo de la Nao.
The two in court in Alicante this week admitted their guilt in the case and the sentences against them are the result of a plea deal under which they also have to pay 2,600 € to the couple with 200 British pounds. They told the court that they went to the British couple’s house with the intention of getting all that they could and as there was little cash in the house decided to hold the couple until the banks opened the following morning. The man was escorted to the bank to withdraw 20,000 €, but in the bank he managed to alert a worker that he was being robbed and was only therefore given 500 €.


British man been murdered in Barcelona

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Body of the 46 year old man, who has not been named, was found by a friend on Thursday afternoon. The Catalan regional police, Los Mossos d’Esquadra, are investigating what they describe as the violent death of a 46 year old British man whose body was found in the l’Eixample area of Barcelona. Police believe he was beaten to death, although they are waiting for the full results of the autopsy.
They were alerted to the case by a phone call at 4pm on Thursday afternoon from a friend of the man who found the body of his friend when he went to visit


Thursday, 9 October 2008

Moroccan police said they had seized a small airplane carrying 1.6 tonnes (1,600 kilos) of hashish in the north of the country

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Moroccan police said they had seized a small airplane carrying 1.6 tonnes (1,600 kilos) of hashish in the north of the country, MAP news agency reported.
The shipment was caught in a police air operation Thursday night after the plane had managed to escape once earlier, said MAP.Police were still searching for the plane's owners.The announcement of the bust came on the same day Spanish police announced they had broken up one of the country's biggest drug trafficking rings which had been bringing in drugs from Morocco.Spanish police said they arrested 44 suspects believed to have shipped hashish from Morocco to Spain, before trafficking it to other European nations.
In June, a helicopter travelling from Fes, Morocco, was caught in the south of France carrying 560 kilos (0.6 tonnes) of cannibis resin.


Michael Dermot McArdle found guilty of his wife’s manslaughter by Malaga court .

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The jury of nine voted by a majority of 7 to 2 to convict the 39-year-old Dundalk father of causing the death of his wife Kelly-Anne Corcoran during a heated argument on the evening of February 11th 2000, the day the family arrived on holiday on the Costa del Sol. After deliberating for more than one day, the jurors delivered their verdict shortly before lunchtime in Malaga Criminal Court, with members of both families present. The jury found that, as the argument escalated, McArdle pushed his wife on the balcony of their hotel room, causing her to fall over the rails.
However, it did not believe that he intended to kill her and cleared him of the murder charge brought by a private prosecutor acting on behalf of the Corcoran family. Michael Dermot McArdle faces a sentence of up to 4 years in jail after being found guilty of his wife’s manslaughter by a court in Malaga.In a very detailed statement, in which reference was repeatedly made to the formal list of questions the judge issued to the jurors yesterday, the jury foreman explained that on the basis of the evidence submitted, the jury believed that McArdle “did not set out deliberately to kill his wife” and therefore it could no convict him of her murder.
However, it also rejected as “highly implausible” the defendant’s version that Kelly-Ann tripped and fell to her death in trying to prevent their son from leaning over the rail. The jury was satisfied that the reconstruction of the fall by police and forensic experts had showed that she could not have fallen over the rail on her own as alleged by the defence. In a brief statement, read on the courthouse steps following the verdict, Ms Corcoran’s family expressed its gratitude to authorities and police in both Spain and Ireland “for bringing Mr McArdle to justice”.
Spokesman Peter Moran, Kelly-Ann’s brother-in-law, said that there were “no winners in this terrible situation”. McArdle left the court with his family after the judge turned down a prosecution request for him to be remanded in prison until sentence is passed in approximately 10 days.


Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Freddie Thompson moved to Torrevieja in southern Spain after major traffickers told him to pay up or be killed

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Thompson moved to Torrevieja in southern Spain after major traffickers told him to pay up or be killed after €6m in drugs were seized by gardai at the weekend.
“They are known as Fat Freddie and Little Richard. If Freddie shouts jump, Richie says ‘how high?’,” a source said today. Gardai also rubbished weekend reports that a truce had been called between Thompson’s crew and the bitter rivals, the so-called Rastas. The feud between the two groups has led to 15 murders. ‘Little’ Richie Thompson is now one of the only people Freddie trusts as threats on his life increase. The older brother has become Freddie's driver, and the pair were arrested recently after they were stopped by gardai in Drimnagh. “Freddie is becoming increasingly isolated and paranoid,” said one senior garda source. “Who better to trust than your own brother?” Fresh threats on Thompson's life saw the crime lord flee to Torrevieja in Spain last week, and despite a media report today, no truce has been announced in the bitter Crumlin/Drimnagh feud.


Michael 'Dermot' McArdle was given the chance of escaping jail in a plea bargain deal moments before his murder trial started.

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Michael 'Dermot' McArdle was given the chance of escaping jail in a plea bargain deal moments before his murder trial started.State prosecutor Carlos Yanez offered Mr McArdle the sweetener of a two-year-prison sentence if he admitted killing wife Kelly-Anne eight years ago in a Spanish hotel room.Jail sentences of two years or less are automatically suspended in Spain in cases where defendants have no criminal records.The nine Spanish jurors set to decide Mr McArdle's fate will be taken to a secret destination tomorrow to start their deliberations. They can deliver one of three verdicts; manslaughter as sought by the Spanish state prosecutor, murder which has been urged by lawyers acting for the family of the dead woman or acquittal.


Monday, 6 October 2008

Verdict Michael Dermot McArdle is expected tomorrow.

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verdict in the case of Michael Dermot McArdle, the Irish man who is accused of throwing his wife to her death from a Marbella hotel balcony in 2000 is expected tomorrow.After a week of evidence the case concluded in Málaga’s Provincial Court on Saturday with the final statement from the 39 year old accused who insisted that he did not kill his 28 year wife Kelly-Anne.
He told the court that she tripped and fell over the balcony as she tried to stop their toddler son from climbing on the railing.
He made his plea to the jury through an interpreter and rejected claims from other witnesses in the case that his marriage had been a violent and troubled one. He also is reported to have refused a plea-bargain, insisting on his innocence.
The state prosecutor has however reduced the charge from murder to reckless manslaughter after contradictions were noticed in some of the witnesses' declarations, and at 10am this morning the jury will be given a list of questions which they have to consider before issuing their verdict.


Torrevieja and Alicante drug trafficking arrests

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Six people have been arrested across the Vega Baja area in connection with a drug trafficking gang which dealt with large amounts of cocaine in Torrevieja and Alicante.The police operation started some three months ago and has so far recovered 3.5 kilos of the drug.All six people arrested are from Latin America and in their 30’s, and some have a record on similar charges. The head of the group has been named as 35 year old M.V.C. who was arrested on drug charges in 2001. The group now go before the duty judge in Torrevieja.


Gary Glitter planning to buy a posh pad in Puerto Banus

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Glitter had made plans to start a new life on the Costa Del Sol, but when gangland bosses heard of it, they vowed that they would kill him if he ever set foot in Spain.If Gary Glitter sets foot in Spain, hes dead. One of the biggest British gangsters in Spain is so concerned about him trying to start a new life over here he has offered 1million pounds to anyone who takes him out, Daily Star quoted a gangland source as saying.
What he has done to all those kids is just disgusting and he should be locked up for life. But as the courts have decided to set him free, people over here have decided to take the law into their own hands…and there are plenty of people who would be happy to kill him.The money is just a bonus. Most of the gangsters would be happy to bump him off for nothing, the source stated.Glitter, 64, was planning to buy a posh pad in Puerto Banus in Marbella, but was stopped by police from going to Spain via France last week, and a Foreign Travel Order was granted banning him from leaving the country.The area is a popular celebrity spot, and Glitter, real name Paul Gadd, had been hoping to lose himself among them, but the area also happens to house a number of families with young children, making drug barons and gangsters, who run the resort, want him out.There are a lot of guys out here who are violent men on the run from the police in the UK. They have nothing to lose by wiping out Glitter, the source revealed.No one wants him here and even though these are bad guys, they care about kids and they dont want him preying on the youngsters who come here for a nice holiday, the source added.Glitter has been banned from travelling to France or Spain by Ashford magistrates.


Sunday, 5 October 2008

La Casita, in Nueva Andalucía six police arrested for rape and ill-treatment

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The two policemen at the centre of the matter have been held in the cells and are expected to go before the judge later today. The two are reported to have other disciplinary measures outstanding against them.number of local police from Marbella who have now been arrested in connection with the rape and ill-treatment of a prostitute in a club, La Casita, in Nueva Andalucía, has risen to six.Four of the men are now released with charges outstanding, charged with ‘looking the other way’ regarding their two colleagues who were actually involved in the incident.Now investigations are underway to try and establish if pressures were put on the club concerned and also to the possible presence of drugs in the venue.Mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz, has said the incident is ‘very serious’ and repeated her policy of zero tolerance in such matters.


44 members of an International drug trafficking ring arrested in Málaga province

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44 members of an International drug trafficking ring which operated in many European countries have been arrested in Málaga province. 34 of those arrested are Spanish, with 13 Moroccans, four French, two Dutch, a Palestinian and a Gibraltarian. In the operation the Civil Guard recovered three tons of hashish and three kilos of cocaine, together with 16 vehicles, four boats, two jet skies, two pistols and more than 6,800 € in cash with other documents.The group is thought to have been made up of three cells all controlled by the Moroccan boss based on the Costa del Sol, one which brought the drug over from Morocco and two others which distributed the drugs in Spain and across Europe.


Dermot McArdle state prosecutor changes his charge from murder to manslaughter.

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Spanish state prosecutor changed his charge from murder to manslaughter.Carlos Yanez told the jury he now believed Dermot McArdle pushed 28-year-old wife Kelly-Anne over the balcony of their Spanish hotel during a row but tried to save her before she fell to her death.And in a shock development he asked judge Fernando Gonzalez to jail McArdle for just four years if he is convicted of the lesser crime.
The lawyer opened the trial in the Costa del Sol town of Malaga on Tuesday demanding a murder conviction and a 14 year prison sentence for the factory manager from Haggardstown, Dundalk, Co Louth.Under the Spanish system McArdle may still be convicted of murder despite the state prosecutor now asking for his conviction on the lesser charge of manslaughter. Unlike in Ireland, there are three lawyers in court all representing different interests -- defence lawyer, state prosecutor and a lawyer prosecuting privately for Kelly Anne's family. Yesterday's move meant the private lawyer hired by Kelly-Anne's family now stands alone in claiming McArdle deliberately pushed the mum-of-two to her death from their fourth-floor room at Marbella's Melia Don Pepe Hotel on February 11, 2000.The jury therefore will have three choices on Monday when they begin to deliberate: acquit McArdle, convict him of murder or convict him of the lesser crime of manslaughter.
Prior to the state prosecutor's change of tack, they would have had only two choices, acquitting him or convicting him of murder.Mr Yanez stunned the courtroom into silence at the end of yesterday's court session by saying: "The state maintains that around 7pm on February 11, 2000, the accused started a heated argument with his wife in the room of their hotel."That argument continued on the balcony where the accused increased his abuse to the point that he used force against her which induced her in the direction of the balcony in such a way that she went over the balcony and was left holding on to a handrailAsking for McArdle to be convicted of the crime of manslaughter, he added: "We want him to be jailed for four years and ordered to pay €100,000 compensation to Kelly-Anne's parents and €60,000 compensation to each of her sons."The move left the dead woman's friends and relatives in a state of shock. The new accusation McArdle now faces carries a prison sentence of two and a half to four years.


Friday, 3 October 2008

When the Cocaine ran out Six Marbella local policeman have been arrested in connection with alleged sexaul agression against women in a club

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Six Marbella local policeman have been arrested in connection with alleged sexaul agression against women in a club in Nueva Andalucía.
The Instruction Judge One in Marbella, Ricardo Puyol, yesterday took the statements from the three women who had complained about being the victims of sexual aggression from a local policeman in a club in Nueva Andalucía. The two women told the court that when the cocaine ran out, was when the aggressions started.The judge yesterday decided to postpone the declarations from the two policemen at the centre of the allegations by 24 hours, saying he first wanted to talk to other witnesses in case. The policemen were taken to the court yesterday and remained there for six hours before being returned to the cells. Three other local policemen and a police woman have also been arrested in the case for allegedly turning a blind eye to the activities of their two colleagues.


David George Hartley, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Provincial Court in Barcelona

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David George Hartley, has been sentenced to 16 years in prison by the Provincial Court in Barcelona for the murder of a Danish friend of his, Paul Pedersen, at a campsite near the city six years ago. He has already been held in prison for six years awaiting trial, four years in Spain and two in Britain.The killing happened in June 2002 and the verdict was published by the court today after Hartley was found guilty by the jury of nine at the five day trial in September, pleading not guilty.
He was also given an additional two year sentence for stealing 200 € from his victim before strangling him.The court heard how the two men met at the Tres Estrellas campsite in Gavà and became friends, sharing a tent, with witnesses saying they were always together. But then on the night of June 23 Hartley strangled Pederson in his sleep, fleeing after the murder to Benidorm and then back to Britain.Two British witnesses told the court that Hartley had told them about the killing and his former girlfriend also said that he was a drinker and drug user, and that he believed he had strangled a man in Spain although was not sure.The defence claimed there was no evidence to prove he had carried out the crime.Hartley was also ordered to pay compensation of 60,000 € to each one of the two Danish daughters of the dead man.


Steve Waddington slipped off the hotel room balcony, at Benalmadena, on the Costa Del Sol in Spain, after a night of heavy drinking.

Posted On 04:31 0 comments


35-year-old Steve Waddington slipped off the hotel room balcony, at Benalmadena, on the Costa Del Sol in Spain, after a night of heavy drinking.His wife Sarah, 28, walked into the room to find Steve dangling off the balcony, calling for help – she wasn’t able to reach him.
“I'm just devastated. We were in love and I will never ever be able to get over this loss,” Sarah told the Middleton Guardian.The couple from Manchester in the UK had married six weeks earlier, and had two children.Sarah had a three-year-old son from a previous marriage, and they had an adopted daughter, 14-year-old Caragh.
Sarah had adopted Caragh after her mother, Sarah’s auntie, died from cancer in 2004.
"He was the perfect father figure to me and Harry, I wouldn't have changed him for the world,” Caragh said.“I still can't believe he's gone and I never will, he will always be loved and missed by many - especially us."


Thursday, 2 October 2008

Police seized millions of images, after smashing a major internet file swapping ring.

Posted On 02:12 0 comments

Police seized millions of images, after smashing a major internet file swapping ring. Those arrested included pilots, taxi drivers, and people from a complete cross section of society. Ages of those taken into custody range from the very old to youngsters.Spain has carried out its biggest crackdown on child pornography with raids on hundreds of homes.Spanish Police chief Enrique Rodriguez who heads a internet crime squad said 800 officers were involved and the operation had an international dimension involving police in countries like Brazil. He said his officers identified people in 250 homes who had downloaded photographs and videos of children being abused or in pornographic poses.The Spanish police were using a new software programme which detects people downloading internet porn. Spain has been increasing its efforts against the scourge of child pornography in recent years and in earlier raids arrested 100 people in April and June this year.


Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Alicante sex shop murder

Posted On 20:53 1 comments

Woman has been brutally stabbed to death in an Alicante sex shop.
The victim, in her 40’s, was the owner of the Alicante sex shop in the central Calle Reyes Católicos in the city.Her body was found by her husband who then made a 091 call at 11pm last night to the police. They say that she had been dead at the scene for several hours before their arrival.First indications are that this is not another case of domestic violence, but theft has also been ruled out.
Police are looking for witnesses and the murder weapon, as well as a motive for the attack. An autopsy is to be carried out at the Legal Medicine Institute later today.


‘J.C’s’ bar in Calle Saltillo Torremolinos 45 year old British man Killed

Posted On 20:49 3 comments

‘J.C’s’ bar in Calle Saltillo Torremolinos 45 year old British man Killed. British man, named with the initials D.S. was killed during a fight in Torremolinos yesterday morning. It happened in ‘J.C’s’ bar in Calle Saltillo around 5am where the victim is alleged to have sprayed the customers in the bar at the time with an aerosol. Report indicate that several customers then wrestled him to the ground to subdue him, but that he was pronounced dead when the police arrived. Nine people have been arrested, including a 58 year old Briton named with the initials J.E.A.C.
The victim was the owner of another bar in Benalmádena’s Puerto Marina. Police say they have opened a full investigation.


Case against Michael Dermot McArdle is underway at the Málaga Provincial Court

Posted On 20:44 0 comments


case against Michael Dermot McArdle is underway at the Málaga Provincial Court.
After a delay from Monday because of a bomb hoax at the provincial court building in Málaga, the case against the Irish man accused of throwing his wife to her death off a Marbella hotel balcony, finally got underway on Tuesday.39 year old Michael Dermot McArdle, from Dundalk, denied throwing his wife Kelly-Anne off the fourth floor balcony of the Melia Don Pepe hotel on February 11, 2000 after a row, saying she tripped and fell when she went to attend to her son.However a witness, who was staying in the adjacent room in the hotel, Roy Haines, told the court that he told McArdle to put the mother of two down when he heard noises and saw him lifting her above his head. He said he heard shouts of ‘help’ and that there had been no child on the balcony. Later he said McArdle came to his room with a child with him – the boy said simply ‘My Mummy is dead’.Spanish police said that McArdle first claimed his wife had committed suicide, before later changing his story saying she had fallen by accident.
Kelly-Anne spent two days in a critical condition in hospital before dying from her injuries.Mc Ardle appeared in court in Málaga with his new girlfriend and his two sons, Mark and Paul, now aged 11 and 10. The case continues today.


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