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SCARFACE MURDER:A man identified as Amsterdam crime boss Samir B. was murdered in Benahavis, Marbella

Sunday, 31 August 2014

A man identified as Amsterdam crime boss Samir B. was murdered in Benahavis, Marbella in Spain on Wednesday. image: inmo-andalucia.com The 36-year-old, also known as “Scarface,” was killed in the Spanish town near Marbella on Wednesday afternoon, Het Parool reports.

 

News reports speak of a gangland execution. Samir B. was in the Monte Halcones mall in the picturesque mountain village around 2.00pm when he was shot multiple times in his back and head by two assailants. He was apparently shot on his way out of a storefront in the shopping center. Witnesses called the authorities, but the emergency services could do nothing to resuscitate him.

The Dutch-Moroccan victim from near Sloterdijk in Amsterdam West has been named in connection with sizeable drug deals. Crimesite.nl writes that he was the largest drug dealer in the city, and he actually marked his cocaine blocks with his own stamp. B. had relocated to Spain a few years back, but apparently his hold on the Amsterdam underground remained. Het Parool writes that B. had a long career in the underworld of Amsterdam West. He grew to be one of the biggest crime bosses in the city.   In June 2010 he was arrested there and extradited to the Netherlands, in connection with the death of 12-year-old Danny Gubbels in Breda; the boy died when someone opened fire on his parent’s trailer and B. was named. He was released after only a few days in prison here, for lack of evidence.   His execution in Benahavis is being investigated by the local police, as well as the Spanish military police force, Guardia Civil, and national police agents. Earlier this month, another of Amsterdam’s criminal leaders, Derkiaoui van der Meijden, was also killed in Amsterdam Oost.

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240 kilos of cocaine have been found in the hull of a yacht in Huelva

Monday, 25 August 2014

240 kilos of cocaine have been found in the hull of a yacht in Huelva Agents from the National Police, in collaboration with the United States DEA, have arrested six people; four in the province of Huelva and two in Madrid in the three searches carried out as part of the same operation. The investigation started at the beginning of April, when large amounts of cocaine has been arriving in Europe by sea, carried out by an international organisation. Further investigations revealed the head of the organisation is a Spaniard, who lives in Colombia, and who had returned to Spain recently, presumably, to coordinate a consignment of the drug. The rest of the organisation are all Colombian, and had the job of providing logistic support on land for the reception and extraction of the drug.

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Marbella boxer ring return after trainer shot

MATTHEW MACKLIN, the Marbella based boxer, whose proposed fight against Argentine fighter, Jorge Sebastien Heiland in a WBC eliminator on August 30 was postponed after his trainer, Jamie Moore, was shot in Marbella, is set for a swift ring return. His opponent is as yet unnamed, however, Macklin is expected to undertake his 36th professional bout next month on September 27, on the Felix Sturm - Paul Smith WBA middleweight ‘Super’ title fight undercard in Kiel, Germany. If as expected Macklin wins, the three-time world title challenger expects to be returning to Dublin for the Heiland fight on November 15. Macklin, hopes the Heiland fight will bring him a fourth shot at a world title, as promoter Eddie Hearn looks to guide him to the big title that has eluded him so far.

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Irish teenager being held on attempted murder charge in Costa del Sol

An Irish teenager is in custody on an attempted murder charge after a violent street fight on the Costa del Sol. The 17-year-old was part of a group of four Irish holidaymakers who got into a row over a girl during a night out in the upmarket resort of Puerto Banus near Marbella. His brother allegedly punched a friend unconscious before the teenager kicked him in the head as he lay on the ground. The victim was rushed to the nearby Costa del Sol Hospital before being transferred to a specialist centre in Malaga so he could be treated for “life-threatening” head injuries.

Doctors have told police he cheated death because of the rapid medical attention he received. The altercation happened around 3am on August 14 in a street a short walk from Puerto Banus port named after singer Julio Iglesias, who owns a house in mountains a short drive away. Investigators say they believe the four men, who had been out drinking together, rowed over a girl. Local police made the arrests at the scene after witnessing the assault from a distance. The injured man, who like the other three Irish holidaymakers involved has not been named, is now being treated in a normal ward after spending several days in an induced coma in intensive care. Police from a specialist anti-violence unit based in Malaga have led the investigation.

A youth court judge remanded the teenager to a young offenders’ institution after quizzing him in a closed court session. His brother, whose age is not known, has been released on bail but is thought to have had his passport taken away from him so he cannot leave Spain. A trial date has yet to be set. The Irish teenager is expected to be held for custody for several months before he is released ahead of trial. A source close to the case said: “The judge quizzed him on an attempted murder charge because medical experts who examined his alleged victim concluded the consequences of the assault could have been much more serious if he hadn’t received rapid medical attention.”

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Fire in Benahavis

Monday, 18 August 2014

A fire has broken out in Benahavis, near Marbella. This photo was taken on the road between Estepona and San Pedro. The cause of the fire is still not yet known, but follows in the wake of a serious fire in Los Montes de Malaga exactly a week ago. The fire in Los Montes devestated 260 hectares of natural park. So far this year there have been 20 such fires in Malaga Province, which experts say is within the average range of annual fires.

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Saudi prince's convoy in Paris attacked by gunmen

Heavily armed men have attacked a convoy of cars belonging to a Saudi prince, stealing 250,000 euros (£200,000; $330,000), police say. The convoy was heading through northern Paris on its way to Le Bourget airport late on Sunday evening when it was raided, reports say. The gunmen seized a vehicle carrying the money and documents, later releasing the driver and two others. The convoy was said to have come from the Saudi embassy. No-one was hurt. The gunmen, reportedly armed with Kalashnikov rifles, targeted a Mercedes mini-van at 21:15 (19:15 GMT) on the northern ring road, or peripherique, at Porte de la Chapelle, on the edge of Paris.

The motorcade, belonging to a Saudi prince, was targeted by eight people in two separate vehicles who pointed their guns at the driver of the Mercedes, forcing him to stop, French media reported.

The men then drove the vehicle away with the driver and the two other Saudis inside. No shots were fired but the Saudis were later freed and the vehicle eventually found burned out.

"In the vehicle there was roughly 250,000 euros in cash and official documents from the embassy," police union spokesman Rocco Contento told BFM TV news.

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There has been a weekend of terror for immigrants in Tangiers

Immigrants who are waiting in Tangiers to cross into Spain have been attacked and their homes ambushed. The NGO’s at the scene fear the aggression against the Sub-Saharans will force them to try to cross the Strait to escape whatever the weather conditions.

The problem started on Friday near the Tangiers airport. The Sub-Saharan’s were told a bus was going to Spain and some 20 women and their children took up the offer. But the bus took them to a local dance festival of African culture called Twiza which was being held in Tangiers for some days. When they realised they had been fooled they returned home, and met a group of Moroccan men armed with machetes and sticks who started to hit them.

Five of the women suffered stab wounds and others suffered abuse. Spanish volunteer, Helena Maleno, was among them and believes the violence is being organised by criminal groups. She was sexually molested by one of the men. She said the Moroccans speech was always the same, ‘We want to clear up here, go to Spain’. Last year an immigrant died when he fell off a wall during a police raid, bringing charges of murderers against the police amid violent scenes as you can seen in the video below.

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Ebola Alert In Alicante After Man Taken Ill

Sunday, 17 August 2014

An ebola alert has been activated in Alicante, Spain, after a young Nigerian man was admitted to hospital with fever and vomiting. Spanish health authorities activated alert protocols after the man showed "several symptoms" of the disease.

The alert comes a week after a Spanish priest who contracted ebola while working in Liberia died in hospital in Madrid. The man was taken ill in the eastern city of Alicante Father Miguel Pajares was the first European infected by a strain of the virus that has killed more than 1,000 people in West Africa.

He was airlifted from Liberia to Spain on August 7 after becoming infected while working for a non-governmental organisation there. The 75-year-old was flown to Europe for treatment with his co-worker Juliana Bohi, a nun who has since tested negative for the disease. Elsewhere, 17 ebola sufferers have fled a Liberian clinic raided by looters who stole blood-stained sheets - sparking fears the virus will spread.

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ISIS terrorists discovered in Morocco

Saturday, 16 August 2014

MOROCCAN anti-terror services working in collaboration with Spanish police officers have broken up a jihadist terror cell in Morocco. In total nine members of the cell, reported to be linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), were detained on Thursday in the three Moroccan cities of Fes, Tetouan and Fnideq. The terrorists were working to recruit new members to the cell with the objective of sending them off to fight in the conflicts currently underway in Syria and Iraq.

It is believed that some of the group made frequent visits to the Spanish city of Ceuta, located on the north coast of Morocco, with the intention of converting people to their cause and raising financial aid. The Spanish Interior Minister has linked those arrested with ISIS, and confirmed that they had received training in the use of weapons and the manufacture of explosives with the goal of participating in suicide attacks or travelling to conflict zones in the Middle-East.

It has also come to light that there were plans to carry out a terror attack on Moroccan soil. Computers and other data-storage devices used by the jihadists are currently being examined for evidence of concrete plans. The investigation remains open within the three cities, with police from both nationalities continuing to work together. Government sources commented that the operation reflects on the excellent relationship that exists between Spain and Morocco when combating terror in the region.

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Luggage thieves caught at airport

THE Guardia Civil have arrested two people under suspicion of stealing suitcases from distracted airport passengers. Within the Guardia Civil brief of the Safer Tourism Plan which has been put in place to prevent theft from tourists visiting Malaga, the officers at the airport have caught two people who were taking national flights with only hand baggage and then taking advantage of distracted tourists arriving at the baggage carousels to steal their luggage while they were looking away. On several occasions they also, allegedly, pick-pocketed passengers as well as taking their hand baggage while they were retrieving their check in luggage. Investigating officers calculate that they have stolen around €21,000 worth of luggage and wallets.

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Former boxing champ shot in Marbella to be released from hospital

FORMER boxing champion Jamie Moore, who was shot in Marbella, is to be released from hospital today. The 35-year-old, from Walkden, was shot in the leg and hip while in the Spanish town, where he was training Birmingham middleweight Matthew Macklin. Mr Moore, a former European light-middleweight champion, did not suffer permanent damage in the attack and was transferred to his local hospital at Salford Royal.

Tweeting about his release from hospital, Mr Moore said: “Being discharged from hospital today, still a way to go before I’m back 100 per cent but I’m making quick progress.” He added: “Big thanks to the doctors and nurses at Salford Royal who’ve looked after me over the last four days, they’ve been absolutely brilliant.”

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Ebola outbreak vastly underestimated

Friday, 15 August 2014

The death toll from the world's worst outbreak of Ebola stood on Wednesday at 1,069 from 1,975 confirmed, probable and suspected cases, the agency said. The majority were in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia, while four people have died in Nigeria. The agency's apparent acknowledgement the situation is worse than previously thought could spur governments and aid organisations to take stronger measures against the virus. "Staff at the outbreak sites see evidence that the numbers of reported cases and deaths vastly underestimate the magnitude of the outbreak," the organisation said. "WHO is coordinating a massive scaling up of the international response, marshalling support from individual countries, disease control agencies, agencies within the United Nations system, and others." International agencies are looking into emergency food drops and truck convoys to reach hungry people in Liberia and Sierra Leone cordoned off from the outside world to halt the spread of the virus, a top World Bank official said. In the latest sign of action by West African governments, Guinea has declared a public health emergency and is sending health workers to all affected border points, an official said. An estimated 377 people have died in Guinea since the outbreak began in March in remote parts of a border region near Sierra Leone and Liberia. Guinea says its outbreak is under control with the numbers of new cases falling, but the measures are needed to prevent new infections from neighbouring countries.

"Trucks full of health materials and carrying health personnel are going to all the border points with Liberia and Sierra Leone," Aboubacar Sidiki Diakit president of Guinea's Ebola commission, said late on Wednesday. As many as 3,000 people are waiting at 17 border points for a green light to enter the country, he said. "Any people who are sick will be immediately isolated. People will be followed up on. We can't take the risk of letting everyone through without checks."

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Arrested for allegedly throwing two suitcases of cocaine out of a hotel window

Poice have established that a 39-year-old Irish man who was arrested in Spain after allegedly throwing two suitcases of cocaine out of a hotel window is a criminal who was previously targeted here in a proceeds-of-crime case. The suspect, who remains in custody in Valencia, has been named as Philip Grendon from Greenfort Drive, Clondalkin, and also with an address at Spiddal Road, Ballyfermot. Grendon's brother, Brian, is a member of a major west Dublin drugs gang who have been constant targets of gardai for 15 years. Already this year, officers based in Ballyfermot have been involved in the seizure of more than €1m worth of drugs from this crew who are considered one of the most organised and longest-established in the country.

The bizarre incident for which Grendon was arrested in Valencia happened last Friday just before 10pm at the four-star Tryp Valencia Oceanic Hotel. Police are said to be working on the theory that the alleged drugs trafficker, who had checked into the hotel a few hours earlier, confused noise from other guests entering and leaving their rooms with a rival gang trying to steal his drugs after suffering a paranoia attack. It is alleged that Grendon also removed ceiling tiles in his room, along with an air vent in an apparent attempt to hide the stash.

The 55kg of cocaine in the cases would have an estimated street value of more than €3.8m in Ireland. Sources who know Grendon say they are "surprised" that he would be trusted by a gang to be in charge of such a huge drugs haul. "Philip was always known to be a paranoid individual, but if what the Spanish police are saying is true, this is taking paranoia to a whole new level," a senior source said. Grendon's younger brother is convicted heroin dealer Brian Grendon (37), who was jailed for six years in December 2002 after he was busted with almost €2m worth of heroin in Palmerstown, west Dublin, the year before. shootings Brian Grendon was previously described in court by a senior detective as being linked to a gang who had in the past "used fatal shootings of anyone who compromised their business".

Philip Grendon appeared in court in Dublin in February 2012 when gardai prosecuted him under proceeds of crime legislation. Some of his associates were targeted by gardai as part of Operation Jumbo in 2002. They included murder victim David McCreevy (23), who was shot dead in Tallaght in 2002.

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Spain to probe cigarette smuggling Crime.

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

 

EU's anti-fraud office on Monday urged Gibraltar and Spain to launch legal action after it found signs that organised crime was behind a rise in cigarette smuggling in southern Spain, AFP reports. The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) made the recommendation after completing a probe it launched in August 2013 at the request of Madrid into a sharp rise in cigarette smuggling across the border between Gibraltar and Spain between 2009 and 2013. "The OLAF investigation has raised a number of concerns regarding the link between a significant increase in the size of the Gibraltar market for cigarettes over the past four years and the subsequent increase of cigarette smuggling across the frontier," a spokesman for the anti-fraud office said. "The concerns include indications of the involvement of organised crime," it added. "The OLAF final case report, and recommendations to initiate judicial proceedings related to the findings of the report, have been sent to the Spanish General State Prosecutor and to the Gibraltar Attorney General." Widespread cigarette smuggling between the tiny, low-tax British territory of Gibraltar to Spain is a major irritant in their frayed diplomatic relations. Smugglers buy the cigarettes in large volumes in Gibraltar at a price much lower than is charged in Spain, where the government in 2012 increased the sales tax to help plug a gaping public deficit. Spain in August introduced stringent border checks at its border with Gibraltar, leading to lengthy queues for motorists, in what it said was a move aimed at clamping down on cigarette smuggling.
But Gibraltar argues the stepped-up border controls are in retaliation for the installation of an artificial reef in its waters that has prevented Spanish boats from fishing there. Gibraltar Chief Minister Fabian Picardo welcomed the anti-fraud office report and said the territory wanted to work together with Spain to investigate the cigarette smuggling. "We wish any necessary investigations in this and in all areas to be carried out jointly between the competent Spanish and Gibraltar authorities in a genuine spirit of cooperation," he said. The government of Gibraltar said cigarette smuggling was already being brought under control thanks to the "draconian" measures it introduced in January. These include the introduction of searches of vehicles crossing into Spain and giving customs and police officers greater powers to fight smuggling. The Spanish government meanwhile said the anti-fraud office's report "justified" its "work in the fight against fraud and the underground economy". Spain ceded Gibraltar to Britain in 1713 but has long argued that it should be returned to Spanish sovereignty. London says it will not do so against the wishes of Gibraltarians, who are staunchly pro-British.

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First Spaniard dies of Ebola

confirmed by the Madrid's health department that a 75-year-old Spanish priest, Miguel Pajares has died in Madrid’s Carlos III hospital from Ebola. The Spanish priest who was recently repatriated from Liberia, Africa last Thursday had been in isolation in Saint John of God hospital in the capital of Monrovia. It is known that he contracted the Ebola virus from the Director of the Hospital after a visit. The director is also known to have died. Miguel Pajares was being treated with an experimental drug ZMapp which is designed to fight the deadly virus, but failed to respond to the medication.

The drug ZMapp is a treatment that is made by a private US company and is still in intensely early stages and had previously been only tested on monkeys. In a statement the health ministry said that the drug arrived to the hospital late on Saturday evening to treat the 75-year-old. The drug ZMapp though in very early stages, was only allowed by the Spanish drug safety agency under “exceptional importation” to be used in the use of a non-authorised medication because of an incident where a patient’s life is in danger.

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Expats could be forced to return home under new government tax proposals affecting rental property in the UK.

  The plans, forwarded by the Chancellor George Osborne, would see the removal of personal tax allowance privileges for overseas residents who also claim income in the UK. If the Chancellor goes ahead with the plans, couples drawing a government pension could also face a £4,000 (€5.000) cut in their yearly income, forcing many to return home. UK government pension plans are only taxable in Britain, meaning that former civil servants living abroad could see a rise in their tax obligations.

Under the current system, expatriates and EU nationals have UK-earned income offset with a personal tax allowance of £10,000 (€12.570), but the planned reforms could jeopardise those expats who live under a carefully considered budget. Up to 400,000 expats could be affected by the proposals which would inject the treasury with an extra £400 million (€503 million) a year.

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Threat of EBOLA as 224 african immigrants rescued off Spanish coast

Maritime rescue vessels picked up a total of 224 people from 23 dinghies in the Strait of Gibraltar on Monday morning.  Both men and women, believed to all be Sub-Saharan Africans, are reported to be in a good state of health. They are currently being moved to Tarifa where they will be attended to by Red Cross volunteers.

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ICE cream vendor was nearly stabbed to death in his own shop in Malaga.

The man was saved from a punctured abdomen by his belt buckle. One assailant punched him in the face while the other one attacked him with a 20-centimetre screwdriver. As soon as the two men came into the ice cream parlour the owner, Argentinian-born Ivan Marcelo Latino, 25, knew they were not customers. Without saying a word one of them punched him in the face, hitting his right eye, and when he defended himself and refused to open the cash register, the other attacker tried to stab him with a screwdriver which, fortunately, got caught on the victim’s belt buckle thus, possibly, saving his life. “All I have is a black eye and a small scratch on my stomach,” commented Ivan.

The events took place on calle Jacob in the Campanillas area of Malaga at around three in the afternoon when Ivan was alone in the shop and there were very few people out on the street. The two men came in from separate entrances and got violent immediately but had to run away as soon as they attracted the attention of the passers-by on the street who called the police. The would-be robbers did not manage to steal anything.

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An alleged drug trafficker who is suspected of throwing a suitcase full of cocaine out his hotel window in a fit of paranoia has links to a notorious Irish crime mob.

An alleged drug trafficker who is suspected of throwing a suitcase full of cocaine out his hotel window in a fit of paranoia has links to a notorious Irish crime mob. The 39-year-old suspect was arrested in Valencia, Spain at the weekend after a receptionist spotted the drugs scattered over an internal patio. The man was caught with a second suitcase packed with cocaine outside his room after he allegedly went looking for the drugs and then asked for a duplicate key when he found himself locked out.

The Irish Mirror has learned the suspect is originally from West Dublin and has links to drug importer Brian Grendon, 37. Grendon was jailed for five years in 2002 after he pleaded guilty to his part in a heroin deal worth nearly €2million. Sources have said the suspect for this latest incident will be now living in fear after losing 55kgs of the drug worth over €3million. The Irishman was expected to be remanded in custody on Monday following a behind-closed-doors hearing before an investigating magistrate. The bizarre incident happened last Friday night just before 10pm at the four-star Tryp Valencia Oceanic Hotel in the city of Valencia on Spain’s east coast. Police are said to be working on the theory the suspected drugs trafficker, who had checked into the hotel a few hours earlier, confused noise from other guests entering and leaving their rooms with a rival gang trying to steal his drugs after suffering an attack of paranoia. He had also removed ceiling tiles in his room - room number 801 - along with an air conditioning vent in an apparent attempt to hide his illegal stash.

A spokeswoman for Valencia’s National Police said: “I can confirm a 39-year-old Irish national was arrested after allegedly throwing a suitcase full of cocaine from his eighth-floor hotel window. “We were alerted by a receptionist. “The man in question was arrested outside his room after officers spotted him with a suitcase similar to the one laden with drugs which had been thrown into an internal hotel patio, and discovered it also contained cocaine. “They found ceiling tiles had been dislodged along with an air conditioning vent and the bath had been filled with water when they entered the room. “In all they confiscated 55 kilos of cocaine. “The Irishman, who doesn’t have a criminal record in Spain, has been handed over to an investigating judge for further questioning. “We are not speculating on why he might have wanted to get rid of any cocaine he had been carrying.” A hotel receptionist said yesterday the hotel would not be making any comment. But an unnamed hotel employee told a local paper: “He disconnected the toilet flush and caused quite a bit of damage in his room. “He looked like he’s suddenly gone mad after throwing the drugs out of his room.” A source close to the case said: “He might have more than the courts on his back after all this. “If he was working for a drugs gang, they’re not going to be happy about losing such a big supply of cocaine.” “He’s almost certainly going to be remanded in custody with that amount of drugs.”

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Spanish government officials say that number of cigarettes brought into Gibraltar in 2013 is excessive for population calls for crackdown on tobacco smuggling between Spain and Gibraltar

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Spanish government officials say that number of cigarettes brought into Gibraltar in 2013 is excessive for population EU is calling on Spain and Gibraltar to crack down on tobacco smuggling across the border between the two countries, citing concerns about the involvement of organised crime. Wrapping up a one-year investigation, the European Anti-Fraud Office (Olaf) said in a statement that it had "raised a number of concerns" to UK and Spanish officials regarding its investigation into the increase of cigarette smuggling across the frontier. While the report was not made public, Olaf noted "a significant increase in the size of the Gibraltar market for cigarettes over the past four years" and that "the concerns include indications of the involvement of organised crime". The investigation was sparked by a complaint from Spanish authorities to the EU that between 2006 and 2011, Gibraltar nearly tripled the amount of tobacco it brought in.

The Spanish government claims that much of this tobacco was then sold illegally in Spain. Hovering at around €26 (£20) a carton, tobacco prices in Gibraltar are much cheaper than in Spain, where the cost generally ranges from €40 to €44. According to figures from Spanish government officials, the amount of tobacco brought into Gibraltar has continued to rise in recent years, from 110m packs of cigarettes in 2012 to 117m packs in 2013. The figures, they argue, are excessive for the 30,000 or so inhabitants of Gibraltar. "Every resident of Gibraltar, including children who are nursing, would have to smoke nine packs of cigarettes each day," one government source told El País. After three visits to Gibraltar in the past year, Olaf said on Monday that the increase in tobacco being brought into Gibraltar was of concern, given its links to "the subsequent increase of cigarette smuggling across the frontier and corresponding increase in size of the illicit market in southern Spain." Noting that its only role is to carry out administrative investigations, Olaf called on Spain and Gibraltar, via the UK Representation to the EU, to "initiate judicial proceedings" related to the concerns raised in the report. Spanish authorities welcomed the Olaf findings. "Spain's only goal is to ensure that international and EU laws are followed," Spain's foreign minister, José Manuel García-Margallo, told reporters on Sunday. Spanish courts are expected to open an investigation into the matter in the coming weeks, reported Spanish media. Contraband tobacco is one of several contentious issues that has been at the forefront of tensions between London and Madrid over Gibraltar. The diplomatic spat flared up last summer, after Spain complained that an artificial reef created by Gibraltar was disrupting its fishing boats. In a move seen by many as retaliatory, Spain tightened controls at its shared border with Gibraltar, leading to long waits for those trying to enter the British overseas territory. Spanish authorities maintain that the increased checks at the border are necessary to crackdown on tobacco smuggling. In the first five months of this year, Spanish border police said they have detected more than 2,500 offenders travelling from Gibraltar to Spain carrying illegal amounts of tobacco. After months of pressure from groups on both sides of the border, last month Spain announced it would create a special "fast lane" for workers who need to travel between Gibraltar and Spain, in a bid to ease the disruption to their commutes.

The plans were slammed by the Gibraltar government, who argued that everyone – from tourists to residents – should have the same freedom of movement with respect to entering the British outpost. "The reality is that the Spanish authorities make life difficult for people and vehicles crossing the border, for political reasons and because they want to," the Gibraltar government said in a statement. "All that Madrid has to do is improve the flow rate of cars and persons and operate proper red and green channels." A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "The Olaf report raises concerns about cigarette smuggling over the frontier, an illicit market in southern Spain, and the involvement of organised crime. Following its most recent visit to the Gibraltar-Spain border, the European Commission recognised the commitment the Government of Gibraltar has made to tackle tobacco smuggling and the significant steps taken to date, including restricting the number of cigarettes allowed in the area around the land border to 200 per person. "The Government of Gibraltar remains ready to work directly with their Spanish counterparts to tackle this issue. But at the same time, the Commission raised concern about the lack of progess by the Spanish in addressing its recommendations and said that the Spanish checks giving rise to several hours waiting times at the Gibraltar/Spain border are disproportionate, a point that the UK government has made consistently clear for some time."

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Drug trafficking operation between Spain and Denmark has been busted in Coin and Mijas

Monday, 11 August 2014

HASH trafficking operation between Spain and Denmark has been busted in Coin and Mijas, with six arrested. Operation Dynamo, a collaboration between Spanish national and Coin local police, saw a total of 94kg of the drug intercepted. The first 53kg was found July 25 in the trunk of a car driving through Mijas en route to Denmark. The other 41kg was later discovered in a house in Coin, according to the Malaga Province Police Station.

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Tom Jones to light up Starlite in Marbella

Saturday, 9 August 2014

IT’S not unusual to see a string of famous faces in Marbella, and this month Welsh music legend Tom Jones will join the ranks. He will be leaving the green, green grass of his Los Angeles home to grind and shimmy his way to the Starlite stage as part of the month-long luxury festival. The 74-year-old sex-bomb – who has received an OBE and knighthood and countless awards during his extensive 50-year career – will no doubt be a hit with the ladies of the Costa del Sol, who just can’t stop loving him. Unmatched in style and rhythm, Jones is listed alongside Julio Iglesias, Ricky Martin and The Pet Shop Boys on the impressive festival line-up. Starlite – now in its third year – brought an economic impact of €40 million last year, and organisers hope this will increase by 30% this year.

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127 kilo cocaine haul found on Spanish naval training ship

Friday, 8 August 2014

127-kilo cocaine haul with a street value of almost €500,000 was found aboard the Spanish naval training ship Juan Sebastian Elcano docked in Cadiz.  The discovery was made by the Civil Guard who seized and searched the vessel when it returned to Spain following a six-month global voyage. The drugs are thought to have been loaded in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, where the boat stopped in mid-April. In early May more than 20 kilos of cocaine loaded on ship was sold while it was docked in New York, with the Spanish authorities then tipped off by the US department of Homeland Security Investigations.  It took until last month when the ship moored off of the northwest Spanish city Pontevedra to detain three suspected sailors – two Spaniards and an Ecuadorian – for drug trafficking. It is  unknown whether the three  had accomplices, though US authorities report the men were paid €3,800 for every kilo they trafficked.

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Swiss man in Malaga drink spiking swindle

Local Police in Malaga have arrested two employees at a city brothel on suspicion of taking €3,600 from a client after spiking his drinks. The victim, a 64-year-old Swiss man, has claimed that he was plied with alcohol or narcotics which left him confused and oblivious to the fact that large amounts of money were being taken from his credit cards. Once he discovered the unusual activity in his bank account, the victim presented himself at a police station to report the incident.

The police took the club owner and one of his employees, who authorised the transactions, into custody, where they were later charged with fraud. A total of €3,647 was taken from two credit cards belonging to the Swiss citizen. This is not the first case of this kind to have been reported recently. Last month, the managers of two brothels and a café in Valencia were accused of defrauding €95,000 from clients using the same methods of drink spiking. The majority of those affected by this type of crime are tourists who do not generally notice that the money has been taken until they have returned to their home countries, making the police’s job of registering and tracking the offences all the more difficult. The authorities are currently attempting to identify more victims in an effort to clamp down on drink spiking during these popular tourist months.

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Criminal Hutch was intended target in Marbella shooting

 criminal Gary Hutch was the intended target of an assassination attempt in Spain which left an innocent boxer with serious injuries. Boxing coach and respected Sky Sports pundit Jamie Moore was attacked in the Spanish resort of Marbella outside a villa owned by Daniel Kinahan, son of crime boss Christy Kinahan on Saturday night. But gardai have received intelligence that the nephew of former criminal mastermind Gerry 'The Monk' Hutch was attending a party in Kinahan's house and he was the intended target of the shooting. Moore was shot at five times and hit twice - in the leg and the foot. Hutch previously survived after his best pal Barry Doyle was shot dead allegedly by the Russian mafia in February 2008, as part of a feud among traffickers.

Former Manchester boxer Moore had been training Matthew Macklin (32) all summer at Macklin's MGM gym in the Puerto Banus area ahead of a fight at Dublin's National Stadium on August 30. But yesterday it was announced that the fight has now been called off. Macklin, who has no involvement in crime, is the boxer who the feared Christy Kinahan's international crime syndicate supports. Senior members of the mob are regularly seen ringside at his fights. Yesterday in a statement, Macklin said: "I am disappointed to have to postpone my fight but in the light of the circumstances and the disruption to my preparation it is the right thing to do. "Every fight at this stage in my career is of huge importance and being 100pc on the night is vital." Macklin has been photographed with Gary Hutch in the past and sources say that gardai want to question Hutch about a number of serious crimes. Hutch was sitting beside hitman pal Barry Doyle when he was shot dead in 2008.

Doyle was gunned down as he tried to escape in a BMW X5 SUV which had come under fire on the outskirts of Estepona, about 10 miles from Marbella. Sources say that foreign gangs based in Spain have decided that Gary Hutch is a target because of his involvement in the Kianahan mob but detectives in the secretive Crime and Security section at garda headquarters have not yet fully established if this is the case. Hutch is well-known to gardai, having served time for being a getaway driver in a jewellery heist and is a close pal of notorious criminal 'Fat' Freddie Thompson. Before he left for Spain, Hutch was involved in a number of feuds in Dublin's north inner city and has been a target for gardai for years. Meanwhile well respected former boxing champ Jamie Moore used his Twitter account to reveal he was recovering from the gun attack.

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Spain: INTERPOL Targets Trafficking Of Stolen Vehicles

Thursday, 7 August 2014

In an INTERPOL-supported operation in Spain targeting the trafficking of stolen vehicles, nearly 20 vehicles were recovered and some 15 individuals arrested. Led by the Spanish National Police, Operation Paso del Estrecho (which means ‘crossing the straits’), was conducted from 28 July to 1 August at the port of Algeciras in southern Spain, a known route used by organised criminal networks to smuggle cars stolen from throughout Europe into North Africa.

With the assistance of INTERPOL’s Stolen Motor Vehicles (SMV) unit, police monitored car ferries leaving the port en route to Morocco, with some 5,000 vehicles screened against INTERPOL’s SMV database. INTERPOL coordinated the deployment of 28 experts from seven countries to support the operation. The experts are members of the INTERPOL Stolen Motor Vehicles (SMV) Task Force, comprising police and private investigators who support member countries with operations targeting the theft and trafficking of motor vehicles. The INTERPOL SMV database contains more than 7 million records submitted by 128 member countries. In 2013, countries searched the database more than 125 million times, resulting in 117,000 positive hits. “Operation Paso del Estrecho was very important because it allowed us not only to detect and recover stolen vehicles from Spain and other European countries, but also to obtain crucial information that will allow us to continue our investigations into the organized crime groups dedicated to illegal vehicle trafficking,” said Ángel Arroyo Morales, Head of the vehicle crime investigation unit of the Spanish National Police Central Squad of Organized Crime. “There is no doubt that with strong cooperation between INTERPOL and police across Europe and beyond, we will continue to recover even more stolen vehicles before they can be used for criminal purposes,” he concluded. In addition, 15 people were arrested during the operation, including one Ukrainian and two Spanish nationals arrested in connection with a major investigation of the Central Squad of Organized Crime of the Spanish National Police.

They are suspected of being the masterminds behind a vast trafficking ring transporting stolen luxury cars between Spain and Ukraine, via Poland and Moldova. The stolen vehicles seized came from various European countries including Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Sweden, demonstrating the transnational character of this crime. “The trafficking of stolen vehicles is a crime that knows no borders. The only way to effectively combat the organized criminal networks behind this crime is therefore through coordinated joint actions, as evidenced by this successful operation,” said INTERPOL’s Director of Specialized Crime and Analysis, Glyn Lewis. Operation Paso del Estrecho is an annual initiative conducted by Spanish police in Algeciras – a major gateway between Europe and Africa which sees approximately 4.8 million people and 1.3 million vehicles pass through each year – to prevent stolen vehicles from leaving the country and to identify and disrupt the criminal groups responsible for the illicit trafficking. Highlighting the links between organized crime and the trafficking of stolen motor vehicles – which are often used in the commission of other serious crimes – is a key part of INTERPOL’s global Turn Back Crime campaign. The campaign aims to raise awareness of these hidden links, and of the very real effect these crimes can have on people’s daily lives.

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Major crime gang link as Matthew Macklin’s coach survives assassination attempt

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Former European boxing champion Jamie Moore is under armed police guard in a Spanish hospital after he was shot in the legs in Marbella at the weekend. 

Moore is currently based in Spain with his wife and two children where he is training Irish boxer Matthew Macklin at the MGM gym in Puerto Banus ahead of his upcoming fight in the National Stadium on August 30. Moore was shot in both legs and the foot when the gunman targeted him after he left a party on Saturday night but his injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. “Just to let everyone know Jamie Moore is still in hospital but he should be ok,” Macklin tweeted last night. “He was shot in his legs but the doctors have said there shouldn’t be any serious or permanent damage done.”

The coach and well-respected Sky Sports pundit who has no involvement in crime agreed to become Macklin’s coach last year, but gardai sources have indicated that “special surveillance plans” are in place for the upcoming fight. The villa where Moore was shot is owned by boxing manager Daniel Kinahan, a key member of the Christy Kinahan crime syndicate which operates a sizeable crime operation on Spain’s infamous Costa del Crime. Nicknamed the ‘Tipperary Tornado’, Birmingham-born Macklin has no involvement in crime but has been photographed in the company of major gangsters Gary Hutch and Daniekl Kinahan at major events.

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Ryanair plans to launch budget flights to the Middle East and Russia

Thursday, 31 July 2014

Forget the Costa del Sol, Ryanair announces plans to launch budget flights to the Middle East and Russia CEO Michael O'Leary said airline wants to use Cyprus as a base Will allow carrier to fly to destinations including Israel and Jordan Has put in bid for Cyprus Airways but is 'not particularly interested'

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SHOCK WEATHER FORECAST: Hottest August in 300 YEARS on way as jet stream BOILS Britain

SHOCK WEATHER FORECAST: Hottest August in 300 YEARS on way as jet stream BOILS Britain BRITAIN will roast in the hottest August EVER with temperatures set to hit an unbearable 100F within weeks.

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Ebola: UK border staff 'unprepared' says union leader

Border, immigration and customs staff feel unprepared to deal with people coming to the UK with possible cases of the Ebola virus, a union leader says. Immigration Service Union general secretary Lucy Moreton said her members needed more information on the threat. Almost 700 people have died since the first case was detected in west Africa in February. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said the UK government is taking the current outbreak "very seriously".

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Savile charity 'to fight against payouts for victims'

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

A charity set up by Jimmy Savile is to challenge a compensation scheme for victims of the sex attacker. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust will take its case to the Court of Appeal later this year, victims' lawyers said. It wants to overturn an agreed scheme, under which the Savile estate, which is separate to the trust, the BBC and the NHS are liable to compensate victims. Liz Dux, who represents 176 of the late DJ's victims, said her clients would be "angry and disappointed" by the move. The charitable trust controls £3.7m and is a separate entity to the Savile estate. Ms Dux said the estate had its own pot of funds, which is where its share of payouts are to come from. Continue reading the main story “ Start Quote The victims deserve redress and closure. They have suffered enough” Liz Dux Abuse lawyer She said she could therefore not understand why the charity trustees were taking the legal action. "For one, it's going to mean that more precious funds that should have gone to victims are being spent on legal costs, which is exactly what the settlement scheme was designed to avoid," she told the BBC. "And secondly, the charitable trust is not even responsible for compensating victims - that is for the estate to do." Unrestricted access Savile is said to have abused more than 200 people over a 60-year period. Last month, investigators found the ex-BBC DJ sexually assaulted victims aged five to 75 in NHS hospitals over decades of unrestricted access. The High Court approved a compensation scheme for victims earlier this year. The Jimmy Savile Charitable Trust was granted leave in mid-July by the Court of Appeal to challenge the ruling. Victims' lawyers were informed by the court last week. The appeal is expected to take place between September and January, Ms Dux said. Under the agreed settlement scheme, abuse victims will be able to claim against the BBC, the NHS and the Savile estate. 'In the dark' Ms Dux said all three bodies agreed they would make payouts and that claims to the BBC and the NHS would not deplete the estate's available funds. "The victims, the Savile estate, the NHS and the BBC are all acting on the same side. We all want and support the approved scheme," she said. "The scheme is a pragmatic and sensible solution to what will otherwise be protracted and hugely expensive litigation." The abuse lawyer added: "The charitable trust offered no explanation then as to why it objected to the scheme and even now we and the victims remain in the dark. No money can be paid from the charitable trust to compensate victims. "The victims deserve redress and closure. They have suffered enough. We urge the Court of Appeal to back the original scheme as previously agreed so this process can move towards a much-desired conclusion." Ms Dux said the Savile estate had funds of about £3.2m last year, but had probably been "haemorrhaging" money in legal fees.

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British airlines are on alert for cases of the deadly virus, after tests revealed a man died in Nigeria from the disease, having been allowed to board an international flight from Liberia.

 A British man has also been tested for the Ebola virus, putting doctors on red alert that it could be on its way to the UK. A spokesman for Hong Kong's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, said the Centre for Health Protection (CHP) will be notified if it is confirmed the patient is suffering from the Ebola virus. In Nigeria health officials said today, they are in the process of tracing 30,000 people at risk of contracting the disease after coming into contact with a Liberian man who died on Friday. Meanwhile, the British man was taken to hospital in Birmingham after complaining of feeling ‘feverish’ on a flight back to the Midlands from West Africa. He had been travelling from Benin, Nigeria via Paris, France when he became unwell on Monday. However, after undergoing a number of tests he was given the all-clear for the virus which has already killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and infected more than 1,200 since it was first diagnosed in February. In another scare, medical staff at Charing Cross Hospital in London became concerned a man in his twenties had caught the virus this week. But his symptoms were quickly confirmed as not being linked to the bug and doctors ruled out the need for an Ebola test.

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Ex-policeman on Azelle Rodney murder charge

A former policeman is to be charged with murdering a man who was shot dead after a car was stopped by officers in north London nine years ago. Azelle Rodney, 24, was travelling in a car that was stopped by police, who were looking for a group they believed were on their way to an armed robbery. An inquiry last year chaired by Sir Christopher Holland ruled there was "no lawful justification" for the shooting. The CPS has now made a decision to charge the man, identified only as E7. The former police marksman will appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court for a preliminary hearing on 10 September. 'Waited a long time' Mr Rodney was shot six times - in the arm, back and head - in Edgware in April 2005. He was travelling with two other men when officers stopped the car and opened fire. His mother Susan Alexander said: "I am very pleased at the CPS's decision to prosecute the officer who killed my son. "I have waited a long time to see this day and hope this prosecution will lead to justice for Azelle. "Whilst I am disappointed at the decision not to prosecute the commissioner in relation to the failures which were found by Sir Christopher Holland regarding the planning and control of the operation, his report makes clear that there were significant failures on the part of the Metropolitan Police and we deserve an immediate and unreserved apology for those failures."

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Ebola virus a threat

"The risk to UK travellers and people working in [affected countries] of contracting Ebola is very low but we have alerted UK medical practitioners about the situation in West Africa and requested they remain vigilant for unexplained illness in those who have visited the affected area. "It is important to stress that no cases of imported Ebola have ever been reported in the UK and the risk of a traveller going to West Africa and contracting Ebola remains very low since Ebola is transmitted by direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of an infected person." BBC global health correspondent Tulip Mazumdar said the West African outbreak had been going on for four months. In that time local people had been looking after the sick and carrying out burials, which could actually help to spread the virus, she added. Ebola kills up to 90% of those infected, but patients have a better chance of survival if they receive early treatment. The outbreak - the world's deadliest to date - was first reported in Guinea in February. It then spread to Liberia and Sierra Leone. Ebola virus disease (EVD) Symptoms include high fever, bleeding and central nervous system damage Fatality rate can reach 90% Incubation period is two to 21 days There is no vaccine or cure Supportive care such as rehydrating patients who have diarrhoea and vomiting can help recovery Fruit bats are considered to be virus' natural host

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Massive increase in Brits abroad drug arrests

DRUG arrests of Britons in Spain have soared, with an incredible 68% increase on the previous year. In total, 708 Brits have been arrested overseas on drug charges already this year – a shocking 173 of which were in Spain, according to the UK’s Foreign Office. A worrying trend is the reported rise in the use of a party drug named ‘Cannibal’ – due to its tendency to dramatically increase aggressiveness. It is apparently being distributed widely in parts of Spain, including the Balearics. A British man was arrested in Magaluf, after biting beachgoers while high on the drug. The rapid rise in drug-related arrests is due to a serious crackdown on dealers launched by police this year. The second-largest number of drug arrests involving Britons last year was in America, with 102 cases.

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Forest fire in Casares

FOREST fire raged today near Casares. The fire was very near the site of Manilva’s Roman baths, inland from Sabinillas. Three helicopters and an aircraft were sent by Infoca in response, and emergency services rushed to the scene. A second fire station was reported to have sent emergency response teams as support.

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EU Must Investigate CIA European Prisons Case

EU member states should carry out a thorough investigation into CIA-run prisons in Europe, where the inmates were subjected to torture, Russian diplomat Konstantin Dolgov said Monday. "Human rights activists are reasonably demanding the government of Poland to finally conduct an effective investigation into secret CIA prisons on its territory. Similar steps should be taken by other EU member states on which territories CIA torture camps operated," the Russian Foreign Ministry’s Special Representative for Human Rights wrote on his Twitter page. Last week, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled that Poland violated an international treaty to protect human rights by hosting secret CIA prisons on its territory. The case was filed by two men who charge they were taken to a secret CIA black site in a Polish forest and subjected to torture before being transferred to Guantanamo Bay. An investigation into the detainees' treatment was opened in Poland in 2008 but is still not concluded – a situation that has been condemned by the UN's anti-torture body. Poland is one of a number of European countries accused of hosting secret CIA prisons. Meanwhile, Romania, Bulgaria, and Lithuania also have had allegations made against them for being part of the CIA black site network.

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Suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs arrests in Morocco

The Cyprus Foreign Ministry has confirmed that five Cypriots have been arrested in Morocco on suspicion of attempting to smuggle drugs out of the North African country. The Cypriots – whose ages are still unknown but are said to be over “18 years of age” – were arrested last week as they attempted to leave the country and are said to be looking at criminal charges relating to drug trafficking. Although the exact amount was unconfirmed, sources yesterday suggested that the group attempted to smuggle 15 kilos of hashish out of one of the country’s airports. “We can confirm that five Cypriots have been detained in Morocco and we are liaising with our Embassy in Paris, which is also responsible for Morocco, in an attempt to stay in contact with the individuals,” Ministry official Petros Kestoras told The Cyprus Daily on Tuesday. “We are as yet still unaware as to the exact amount of illegal substances they are said to have reportedly attempted to smuggle. We are also unaware of the exact substances. We do know that criminal procedures are ongoing and that the five individuals are obviously in police custody.” Morocco is one of 32 countries that impose capital punishment for offences involving the illegal importing, exporting, sale, or possession of narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances. But there has only been only one execution since 1983, and it happened in 1993. A total of 198 people were sentenced to death between 1956 and 1993, although there was an 11 year lull in executions between January 1982 and August 1993. The issue over capital punishment is a hot topic in Morocco. Officially, the stance of the current government is for "de facto" abolition but the Ministry of Justice has declared that terrorism is still an obstacle to "de jure" abolition. Figures from the US State Department claim that – until 2010 - a total of 104 inmates were on death row. According to a United Nations report, Morocco is a major source for cannabis, of which several hundreds tons reach mainly European markets every year.

Cannabis cultivation is concentrated in the underdeveloped region of the Rif in the North, for which the Government has adopted a national five-year development programme. In addition to the significant illicit trafficking of cannabis resin, the country is affected by growing international trafficking of heroin and cocaine and by related organised crime, including money laundering. As the main supplier country, “Morocco has long been a popular route by which drugs enter Europe”. It is a transit point for the ‘hashish’ consumed in Europe, but also of other illegal drugs principally coming from Latin America and East Asia.

The coast of Spain is the most common landing point of the drug, and to a less extent France, United Kingdom and other European countries Back in December 2012, Spanish police seized eleven metric tons of hashish smuggled from Morocco on trucks with tanks rigged to hide the drugs. Thirty five people were arrested in what was described as the breakup of a major smuggling ring that fed the European market.

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Lionel Messi to be prosecuted for alleged tax evasion

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

A Spanish court will push ahead with prosecuting the Barcelona forward Lionel Messi for alleged tax evasion despite a recommendation from the public prosecutor the charges be dismissed. The prosecutor argued in June that Messi’s father Jorge was responsible for the family’s finances and not the four-times World Player of the Year. However, the court in Barcelona has decided that Lionel Messi could have known about and approved the creation of a web of shell companies that were allegedly used to evade taxes due on income from image rights. The judge in the case ruled that the case against both Messis should continue. Argentina’s Messi and his father were accused last year of defrauding the Spanish state of more than €4m (£3.1m) by filing false returns for the years 2006 to 2009. They have denied wrongdoing.   One of the world’s highest-paid athletes, Messi earns just over $40m (£23.5m) a season in salary and bonuses, according to Forbes magazine, as well as about $23m from sponsors. The magazine has him as the fourth top-earning athlete behind the boxer Floyd Mayweather, Real Madrid footballer Cristiano Ronaldo and basketball player LeBron James.

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Spanish Government Cars With an Unsavory Past

Friday, 25 July 2014

A nationwide raid on a criminal group recently netted the Spanish police an extensive booty: 52 cars and motorbikes, as well as two boats, and 6.5 tons of gold and silver. Rather than let the spoils go to waste, the Spanish interior minister and other top security officials lighted on a novel cost savings in these hard economic times.

Four of the cars, it turned out, were newly armored and better than the ones they had. So they decided to use them. Jorge Fernández Díaz, the interior minister, got special permission in April from a court in Valencia to use the armored cars for police purposes. The court is handling the investigation into the criminal group and overseeing its seized assets. Confirming a report published this week in the newspaper El Mundo, Mr. Fernández Díaz stressed the cost savings of the unconventional vehicle upgrade.

Four bulletproof cars used by the criminals are valued at about 400,000 euros, or nearly $540,000. “We are saving money for the public treasury, for citizens, and we are raising our means to fight these gangs with greater efficiency,” the minister told reporters. The secretary of state for security and the director general of the Spanish police are also using confiscated armored cars, which are far newer as well as lighter than their previous cars. In any case, officials said, the previous cars had been due for expensive maintenance and repair work. A 2011 cease-fire by ETA, the Basque separatist group, prompted significant cuts in government spending on armored vehicles and bodyguards to protect officials. The cease-fire also coincided with a financial crisis that put the spotlight on unjustified government spending in a time of austerity, which left many Spaniards struggling with tax increases and salary cuts. During a four-decade campaign of terrorism, ETA killed more than 800 people in bombings and assassinations. José María Aznar, a former Spanish prime minister, escaped with light injuries when his armored car was bombed in Madrid in 1995. At the time, he was the leader of the opposition Popular Party. But ETA, which issued a statement this month saying it had dismantled its military wing, has not killed anyone on Spanish soil since 2009. Spain’s government, however, says that the group must surrender unconditionally and turn over all its weapons. Defending the use of the confiscated armored cars, Mr. Fernández Díaz said it was not unusual for crime money to aid Spain’s public finances, or for the Spanish state to make use of “decommissioned” assets after criminal cases are closed.

Last year, for instance, money seized and accounts frozen as part of drug trafficking cases added €22.1 million, or nearly $30 million, to the Spanish treasury. Before getting the armored cars, the minister said, his security forces had already inherited some boats and aircraft from criminals, without providing a detailed listing. “This is not the first time, and hopefully not the last,” he said. What has become of the boats, he did not say.

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Arrested Venezuelan General Hugo Carvajal narco arrest order from U.S Government.

Thursday, 24 July 2014

General Hugo Carvajal was arrested in Aruba on Wednesday about 6 pm local time on arrival to the Caribbean island belonging to the Netherlands, which traveled on a false passport. Despite claiming immunity diplomatic , on his appointment as consul on the island by the government of Nicolas Maduro , border guards denied that status, because his appointment had not yet been accredited by the Dutch authorities .

These acted at the request of the United States , the Netherlands previously revealed the contents of an allegation that the Attorney for the Southern District of New York kept secret ("sealed indictment") against Hugo Carvajal. The general and was included in2008 in the black list of the U.S. Treasury, for "assistance" to the FARC , the Colombian guerrillas. He was accused of "protecting Venezuelan counternarcotics authorities drug shipments and providing weapons to the FARC."

Relations with governments and terrorists

Sources in Washington involved in collecting evidence against Carvajal, ensure that the general, called by many the alias of"Chicken" , is the most central figure in the plot of druglaunched by the own Hugo Chavez and whose activities have led out several generals, known as the "sign of the Suns" .

" Carvajal was responsible for collecting the drug FARC and controlled the entire distribution process to the United States and Europe , and also took care of the money laundering through the PDVSA oil 'say these sources, who believe their detention will "uncover large pot of money laundering conducted by PDVSA." The general came to Aruba precisely in a plane owned by a figurehead Rafael Ramirez , president of the oil. Besides the extraordinary point Carvajal can provide information on the relationship of Chavez's Venezuela with Hezbollah and Iran . "It's like Pablo Escobar and Vladimiro Montesinos together, a chief of intelligence to put drug lord , "they say.

Carvajal was head of the Military Intelligence Directorate (DIM) for much of the Chávez era , between 2004 and 2011 . then returned to be appointed to the post by Maduro in 2013, although he remained a short time.

The processing of extradition to the United States can take to resolve between diez and fifteen days . The extradition will be confronted by the Venezuelan government, which said in a statement that "categorically rejects the illegal and arbitrary detention" of Carvajal, whom he described as "diplomat".

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Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Spanish police have arrested a Colombian drug boss dubbed ‘The Mouse’, the alleged leader of a major cocaine smuggling gang accused of 400 killings, officials said on Saturday. Officers arrested the 40-year-old, whose real name is reportedly Hernan Alonso Villa, in the eastern seaside city of Alicante on Friday, according to a police statement. He is considered ‘the top leader of the military wing of the Oficina de Envigado, a Colombian criminal organisation accused of 400 killings as well as drug-trafficking, extorsion and forced displacements of Colombian citizens’, it said. ‘He is one of the criminals most wanted by the Colombian authorities. He had more than 200 people under his command and was responsible for exporting cocaine to Spain, the United States and Holland,’ the statement said. Spanish officers arrested him under a Colombian extradition warrant for charges including alleged homicide and arms offences. He was carrying 40,000 euros ($54,000) in cash when he was caught, the statement said. Authorities say the ‘Oficina’ gang dates back to the 1980s when it carried out killings for the now-dismantled Medellin Cartel. Spain is one of the main entry points for illegal narcotics into Europe and Colombia is one of the world’s biggest sources of cocaine. Colombia produced 290 tonnes of cocaine in 2013, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

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SPANISH police arrest UK gangland murder suspect

Friday, 18 July 2014

Police in Madrid have arrested William Thomas Robert Paterson, wanted over the murder of a gangland enforcer in a car park in Scotland.

Paterson, nicknamed Buff and Billy, was wanted over the 2010 death of  Kevin 'Gerbil' Carroll in a supermarket car park in Glasgow. The 34-year-old fled to Spain after that crime where he remained in hiding until his arrest, Spain's El Diario newspaper reported on Thursday. Paterson appeared on a ten most wanted crime list released by  the UK's Serious Organised Crime Agency and Crimestoppers as part of a campaign known as Operation Captura. This campaign targets criminals that UK authorities believe are on the run in Spain.

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Passenger on Malaysia Flight Shared Eerie Facebook Post Prior to Taking Off

Cor Pan probably didn't realize the effect his post would have when he shared it. The Dutch citizen was aboard the Malaysia Airlines plane that was carrying 295 people and was shot down over Ukraine on Thursday. But prior to taking off, Pan took a snapshot of the plane and posted the picture on his Facebook page with the caption that translates to, "If it disappears, this is what it looks like," poking fun at the Malaysia plane that went mysteriously missing in March. The aircraft, which was shot down near the Russian border, was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it fell near the city of Donetsk in a war-torn area which has become a stronghold for pro-Russian rebels. All the passengers onboard were killed.

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Incredible Map Shows Airplanes Getting The Heck Out Of Ukranian Airspace

On a normal travel day, the airspace over Ukraine is some of the most congested in the world. It serves as a major cross roads for flights connecting major hubs in Europe with megacities in Asia. However, after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 was reportedly shot down earlier today, most of the world's major airlines have ordered their planes to avoid the area completely. The above map, which was tweeted by Newsweek, shows Ukranian airspace a few hours after MH17 lost contact with radar. Two of Europe's largest airlines, Lufthansa and British Airways, have both told Business Insider that they have ordered their planes away from the disputed region. To avoid the Russian-Ukraine conflict altogether, Lufthansa has specifically ordered their planes to take a southerly route over Romania.

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REVEALED: Shocking failure to police drink-spiking in Spanish resorts

Thursday, 17 July 2014

POLICE in Spain have apparently no official records for the crime of drink-spiking. Hospitals and town halls have also failed to give any indication of the severity of the problem, despite a terrifying 60% increase in sexual attacks in Spanish resorts last year. The shocking revelation comes as assaults from spiking begin to soar, with the summer season now well underway. “It is clearly becoming a bigger issue and particularly in the summer,” said a source at Marbella Town Hall.

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We cannot see our greatest selves beyond giant shame trees that provides shade for our demons of guilt

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

 while we sweat in the harshness of the midday sun of our hang-ups, begging to believe we are worthy.

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Released Alien from Border Crisis Arrested for Alleged Murder, Kidnapping in Texas

An illegal immigrant who was released by U.S. authorities with a Notice to Appear has been arrested for the alleged murder of a woman and kidnapping of children on U.S. soil. The alleged crimes occurred after the man was released. The man, Pedro Alberto Monterroso-Navas, entered the U.S. illegally with children and turned himself in to U.S. Border Patrol agents. He was processed and released, as are all illegal immigrants who come as unaccompanied minors or incomplete family units from Central America. The alien is from Honduras. The arrest was first reported by the Associated Press (AP), but Breitbart Texas has exclusively confirmed that the man was part of the Obama Administration’s catch and release policy for family groups from Central America. A U.S. Border Patrol source who spoke with Breitbart Texas on the condition of anonymity provided Breitbart Texas with the alien registration number for the man, and the event number for the man’s apprehension. He was processed in the McAllen station of the U.S. Border Patrol. The alien’s registration number is 202027386. The event number for his apprehension is MCS14061487. The “MCS” designates the McAllen station, the “1406” designates that the man was apprehended in June of 2014. A separate Border Patrol source confirmed that the man was apprehended on June 26, 2014 with two children he claimed were his own. He told U.S. authorities he had family in Metairie, Louisiana.

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Shocking images showing two couples having sex outside nightclub sparks outrage online

This is the shocking photograph showing two couples having sex outside a nightclub. Two scantily clad girls are pictured sitting on boys’ laps in a car park outside Ed Divino in Belfast as other stunned revellers looked on. The jaw-dropping snap of the two couples, taken last Thursday, has gone viral with people posting their disgust online. One twitter post reads: “WTF is wrong with the young ones did they not learn after magaluf girl n slanegirl now another pic pops up :(.” Another posted: “People have no shame. This is traumatic.”

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El Divino nightclub, Belfast: Picture of clubbers having sex in car park posted on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook sparks outrage

A picture of two female clubbers appearing to have sex with two men in a car park outside a nightclub has sparked outrage online. The image has been shared on thousands of social media accounts after being taken outside El Divino in Belfast after a student night last Thursday. It shows the two scantily-clad women on top of the men, with other revellers milling in the background, in scenes reminiscent of the recent video of a clubber giving oral sex to men in return for a drink in Magaluf.

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British cyber-jihadist Babar Ahmad jailed in US

A British cyber-jihadist has been sentenced in a US court to 12-and-a-half years' imprisonment after admitting terrorism offences. Babar Ahmad, of Tooting, south London, had admitted conspiracy and providing material to support the Taliban. Ahmad has already spent almost 10 years in prison in the UK and US and his lawyer thinks he could be released in about seven-and-a-half months. He waived his right to an appeal as part of a plea agreement. The judge said she had to weigh the seriousness of the crime with Ahmad's good character, after reading thousands of letters of support and hearing from British prison officials who described him as an exemplary prisoner. The court in New Haven, Connecticut, handed down a sentence of 150 months, half of the 25 years the prosecution was seeking. Ahmad is expected to carry out the remainder of his sentence in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center.

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British cyber-jihadist Babar Ahmad jailed in US

A British cyber-jihadist has been sentenced in a US court to 12-and-a-half years' imprisonment after admitting terrorism offences. Babar Ahmad, of Tooting, south London, had admitted conspiracy and providing material to support the Taliban. Ahmad has already spent almost 10 years in prison in the UK and US and his lawyer thinks he could be released in about seven-and-a-half months. He waived his right to an appeal as part of a plea agreement. The judge said she had to weigh the seriousness of the crime with Ahmad's good character, after reading thousands of letters of support and hearing from British prison officials who described him as an exemplary prisoner. The court in New Haven, Connecticut, handed down a sentence of 150 months, half of the 25 years the prosecution was seeking. Ahmad is expected to carry out the remainder of his sentence in New York's Metropolitan Correctional Center.

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Two Hells Angels associates sentenced as part of Project Flatlined

Two more Winnipeg men were sent packing to prison Monday for their differing roles in a “sophisticated and well-organized” Manitoba Hells Angels-led drug operation which was ultimately smashed up in a covert police sting. Jonathan Stewart, 32, and Brian Chesney were sentenced in back-to-back hearings and escorted from Judge Robert Heinrichs’s courtroom to begin serving their time after being arrested early last year in Project Flatlined. Stewart, described by the Crown as a “trusted courier” for a crack cocaine ring in the Elmwood neighbourhood orchestrated by top members of the Hells Angels and support crew, Redlined, received a sentence of 57 months on criminal organization and conspiracy charges. Stewart was not a member of either gang but knew key players from growing up in Elmwood, court heard. He assisted the two top-ranking Redlined members in various ways, including preparing crack cocaine for its eventual distribution to users. “This organization would not have operated as well as it did without the assistance of Mr. Stewart,” said federal Crown attorney Geoff Bayly, who named Stewart’s key contacts as Brendin Wall and Justin MacLeod. Chesney, 35, was handed a term of 45 months for cocaine-trafficking and committing acts for the benefit of a criminal organization. Chesney was the roommate of Redlined associate Thomas Barnecki and was caught making crack deliveries to undercover cops, as well as renting a new “stash house” for the crime ring after it was discovered police had infiltrated another by placing a video camera inside. Bayly detailed for the court the sophisticated setup of the cocaine-slinging ring, which he said was headed up by Hells Angel Dale Sweeney. The ring had a defined management structure, production cell and street-distribution network, Bayly said. Police have previously said two cellphones used by the operation rang 530 times a day on average over the 10 months cops were secretly monitoring it between May 1, 2011 and late February 2012. The conservative estimate of sales in that time was said to be $1.5 million, police have said. The cop estimate is based on halving the total number of calls traced to the phones over the life of the investigation (159,154) and assumes only a single $20 rock of crack was sold as a result, police say. Police believe the volume of sales was likely much higher. Stewart had no prior criminal record and was supported by a large number of ashen-faced family and friends in court. Heinrichs was told he suffers with schizophrenia. His mental illness combined with drug use caused his life to go “off the rails,” lawyer Aaron Seib said. Chesney, a recently married father of four, was also supported in court by family.

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LIVING IN A FASCIST STATE: Mentally ill people need to be helped, not hounded by the work Roaches

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

LIVING IN A FASCIST STATE: Mentally ill people need to be helped, not hounded

 

Neglect of the mentally ill is bad enough, but now consider how the Department for Work and Pensions deliberately torments them. I just met a jobcentre manager. It had to be in secret, in a Midlands hotel, several train stops away from where she works. She told me how the sick are treated and what harsh targets she is under to push them off benefits. A high proportion on employment and support allowance have mental illnesses or learning difficulties. The department denies there are targets, but she showed me a printed sheet of what are called "spinning plates", red for missed, green for hit. They just missed their 50.5% target for "off flows", getting people off ESA. They have been told to "disrupt and upset" them – in other words, bullying. That's officially described, in Orwellian fashion, as "offering further support". As all ESA claimants approach the target deadline of 65 weeks on benefits – advisers are told to report them all to the fraud department for maximum pressure. In this manager's area 16% are "sanctioned" or cut off benefits.

Of course it's not written down anywhere, but it's in the development plans of individual advisers or "work coaches". Managers repeatedly question them on why more people haven't been sanctioned. Letters are sent to the vulnerable who don't legally have to come in, but in such ambiguous wording that they look like an order to attend. Tricks are played: those ending their contributory entitlement to a year on ESA need to fill in a form for income-based ESA. But jobcentres are forbidden to stock those forms. These ill people's benefits are suddenly stopped without explanation: if they call, they're told to collect a form from the jobcentre, which doesn't stock them either. If someone calls to query an appointment they are told they will be sanctioned if they don't turn up, whatever. She said: "The DWP's hope is they won't pursue the claim."

Good advisers genuinely try to help the mentally ill left marooned on sickness benefit for years. The manager spoke of a woman with acute agoraphobia who hadn't left home for 20 years: "With tiny steps, we were getting her out, helping her see how her life could be better – a long process." But here's another perversity: if someone passes the 65-week deadline, they are abandoned. All further help is a dead loss to "spinning plates" success rates. That woman was sent back to her life of isolation: she certainly wasn't referred for CBT. For all this bullying, the work programme finds few jobs for those on ESA.

Failing to treat the mentally ill is bad enough, but this is maltreatment. There has been much outrage about lack of kindness and care in hospitals. Neglect of mental patients is every bit as bad, but deliberate cruelty by the DWP defies any concern for the wellbeing for the most vulnerable, let alone "parity of esteem".

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Ms Sandiford to be executed for drug trafficking.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

A British grandmother has been sentenced to death by firing squad for smuggling almost 5kg of cocaine into Bali.

Lindsay Sandiford was arrested in May last year after she tried to enter the Indonesian holiday island with illegal drugs worth £1.6 million hidden in her suitcase.

Local prosecutors had called for the 56-year-old housewife to be jailed for 15 years. But today there were gasps in the Bali courtroom when a panel of judges announced Ms Sandiford would be executed for drug trafficking.

As the shock verdict was announced, Ms Sandiford, from Gloucestershire, slumped back in her chair in tears before hiding her face with a brown sarong as she was led out of the courtroom.

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Griselda Blanco, gunned down in Medellin, Colombia Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Florida Department of Corrections

Griselda Blanco in 2004.

The convicted Colombian drug smuggler known as the “Godmother of Cocaine,” Griselda Blanco, 69, was gunned down by a motorcycle-riding assassin in Medellin, Colombian national police confirmed late Monday, according to the Miami Herald.

Blanco spent nearly 20 years in prison in the United States for drug trafficking and three murders before being deported to Colombia in 2004, the Herald reported.

Two armed riders pulled up to Blanco as she was leaving a butcher shop in her hometown, and one shot her twice in the head, the Herald reported, citing a report in El Colombiano newspaper.

Family members said Blanco had cut her ties to organized crime after returning to her country, the BBC reported. Police said they were investigating the motive.

Blanco was one of the first to engage in large-scale smuggling of cocaine into the United States from Colombia and set up many of the routes used by the Medellin cartel after she was sentenced in the United States in 1985, the BBC reported.

Investigators told the Herald that they estimate conservatively that Blanco was behind about 40 slayings. She was convicted in connection with three murders: Arranging the killing of two South Miami drug dealers who had not paid for a delivery, and ordering the assassination of a former enforcer for her organization, an operation that resulted in the death of the target’s 2-year-old son, the Herald reported.

Three of Blanco’s husbands were killed in violence related to drugs, the Herald reported, and one of her sons was named Michael Corleone, a reference to “The Godfather” movies.

Blanco is credited with originating motorcycle assassinations, the Herald reported.

“This is classic live-by-the-sword, die-by-the-sword,” filmmaker Billy Corben, who with Alfred Spellman made two “Cocaine Cowboys” documentaries, told the Herald. “Or in this case, live-by-the-motorcycle-assassin, die-by-the-motorcycle assassin.”

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Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

It was pretty much all the money Bozena Oracz had after a working life as an accountant: the equivalent of $15,000. She placed it in a fund investing in gold, with the hope of paying for her daughter's studies and getting treatment for a bad knee.

Those dreams were dashed when she discovered she had fallen victim to an elaborate fraud scheme that has left thousands of Poles, many of them elderly, facing financial ruin.

The so-called Amber Gold affair is one of the biggest financial scandals to hit Poland since the fall of communism in 1989. The extent of wrongdoing is still murky, but it seems to have some elements of a pyramid scheme, meaning the financial institutionused funds from new clients to pay off older clients rather than investing them.

Consumed with anger and desperation, 58-year-old Oracz traveled last week from a small town near Warsaw to a law firm in the capital to consider whether, after losing 50,000 zlotys, she should risk another 3,000 zlotys ($920; €730) on the fee to join a class-action lawsuit seeking to recover some of the losses.

"This was a lot of money to me — it was my savings," Oracz said, fighting back tears. Now retired and living on a small pension, she sees no way of building another nest egg. "My pension barely covers my needs," she said.

The affair has raised questions about the effectiveness of Poland's justice system and government because authorities failed to act against the scheme despite red flags from regulators and the criminal record of its young owner. Scrutiny has also focused on the prime minister due to business dealings his son had with those running the scheme. The scandal has even touched democracy icon Lech Walesa, who fears it could tarnish his good name.

Prosecutors say investors lost about 163 million zlotys ($50 million; €40 million), a number that has been mounting as more and more victims come forward. Any law suits could take care years to go through the courts, with no guarantee of their outcome.

"People are desperate," said Pawel Borowski, a lawyer preparing the class-action suit that Oracz is considering joining. "In most cases the clients lost life savings or sold family properties to make investments."

The financial institution, Amber Gold, promised guaranteed returns of 10 to 14 percent a year for what it claimed were investments in gold. Many of its clients were older Poles who grew up under communism and lacked the savvy to question how a financial firm could guarantee such a high return on a commodity whose value fluctuates on the international market. The promised returns compared well to the 3 to 5 percent interest offered by banks on savings accounts — earnings essentially wiped out by the country's 4 percent inflation rate.

"These were people with a low level of financial education," said Piotr Bujak, the chief economist for Poland at Nordea Markets. "They think it's still like in the old times, where everything was guaranteed by the state. They underestimated the risk."

Amber Gold launched in 2009, opening branches in city centers alongside respected banks, with white leather sofas and other sleek touches that conveyed sophistication and respectability. It bombarded Poles with convincing advertisements. Some early investors got out with their expected gains, adding to the fund's credibility.

The company, based in Gdansk, capitalized on gold's allure while playing on people's anxieties in unpredictable financial times. "We are dealing with a loss of confidence in the entire financial system and an urgent need for safe investments," one ad said. "The environment for gold is perfect."

Amber Gold drew in 50,000 investors over its three years of operation, though the company's founder, Marcin Plichta, said there were only about 7,000 at the time of liquidation.

Soon after Amber Gold began operations, the Polish Financial Supervision Authority put it on a "black list" of institutions that operate like banks without authorization. There are 17 other such black-listed institutions in operation, but the regulators lack the authority to shut them down. This has sparked a debate in the government and news media about whether courts should be more aggressive in intervening.

According to prosecutors, the company did use some of its money to invest in at least one legitimate business: It was the main investor in budget airline OLT Express. It was this investment that brought Amber Gold down — when the airline filed for bankruptcy, Amber Gold entered liquidation and its scheme of investments unraveled. Its bank accounts were blocked and it was unable to return the money of thousands of its customers.

Plichta was charged this month with six counts of criminal misconduct.

Prime Minister Donald Tusk's center-right government went into damage-control mode when it emerged that the leader's son, Michal Tusk, had done PR work for the airline. Tusk said he had warned his son against doing business with Plichta but that ultimately he son makes his own decisions.

Leszek Miller, the head of the opposition Democratic Left Alliance, asked how Tusk could warn his son against involvement in the airline but not warn the thousands of Poles who invested in the fund. Miller has called for a parliamentary inquiry into the scandal.

Public discontent is also centering on the justice system because Plichta, 28, has past convictions for fraud, and many Poles are asking why authorities — aware of his criminal record — didn't stop him sooner. Born Marcin Stefanski, he took his wife's last name to distance himself from his past crimes.

The country's top prosecutor, Andrzej Seremet, admitted Monday that prosecutors were negligent in failing to heed multiple warnings since 2009 about Amber Gold from the financial supervisory body. He announced personnel changes in the office he blamed for mistakes.

The affair also has an unlikely connection to the Solidarity leader and former president, Lech Walesa, because an Oscar-winning director, Andrzej Wajda, was relying on money from Amber Gold to produce a film about Walesa's struggle in the 1980s.

Walesa came out publicly to make clear he is not involved in any way, saying he doesn't want his name "dirtied."

Many of the unlucky investors are not only furious but wracked by shame and guilt.

Engineer Andrzej Malinowski, 61, put three months of salary — 25,000 zlotys ($7,660; €6,100) — into Amber Gold. He made the investment without consulting with his wife, sensing that there was some risk and that she would not have agreed.

Now he is so shaken and embarrassed that he doesn't want to talk about it, leaving his wife, Danuta Malinowska, to help unravel the mess.

"He saw that gold was going higher and higher so he believed that maybe it would be a good deal," Malinowska said. "Now he has so much guilt that I am trying to help — contacting the lawyer, filling in the forms, writing to the prosecutors. But the justice system is very ineffective. I don't believe we will be getting any of this money back."

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Miguel Angel Trevino Morales new leader is emerging at the head of one of Mexico's most feared drug cartels.

Monday, 27 August 2012

  • Mexico Drug War Zetas_Plan.jpg

    This undated image taken from the Mexican Attorney General's Office rewards program website on Aug. 23, 2012, shows the alleged leader of Zetas drug cartel, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, alias âZ-40.â (AP Photo/Mexican Attorney General's Office website)

Mexico's Violent Zetas Cartel Sees New Leader Miguel Angel Trevino Morales A split in the leadership of Mexico's violent Zetas cartel has led to the rise of Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, a man so feared that one rival has called for a grand alliance to confront a gang chief blamed for a new round of bloodshed in the country's once relatively tranquil central states.

Trevino, a former cartel enforcer who apparently has seized leadership of the gang from Zetas founder Heriberto Lazcano Lazcano, is described by lawmen and competing drug capos as a brutal assassin who favors getting rid of foes by stuffing them into oil drums, dousing them with gasoline and setting them on fire, a practice known as a "guiso," or "cook-out".

Law enforcement officials confirm that Trevino appears to have taken effective control of the Zetas, the hemisphere's most violent criminal organization, which has been blamed for a large share of the tens of thousands of deaths in Mexico's war on drugs, though other gangs too have repeatedly committed mass slayings.

"There was a lot of talk that he was pushing really hard on Lazcano Lazcano and was basically taking over the Zetas, because he had the personality, he was the guy who was out there basically fighting in the streets with the troops," said Jere Miles, a Zetas expert and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent who was posted in Mexico until last year.

"Lazcano Lazcano, at the beginning he was kind of happy just to sit back and let Trevino do this, but I don't think he understood how that works in the criminal underworld," Miles said. "When you allow someone to take that much power, and get out in front like that, pretty soon the people start paying loyalty to him and they quit paying to Lazcano."

The rise has so alarmed at least one gang chieftain that he has called for gangs, drug cartels, civic groups and even the government to form a united front to fight Trevino Morales, known as "Z-40," whom he blamed for most of Mexico's violence.

"Let's unite and form a common front against the Zetas, and particularly against Z-40, Miguel Angel Trevino Morales, because this person with his unbridled ambition has caused so much terror and confusion in our country," said a man identified as Servando Gomez, leader of the Knights Templar cartel, in a viedo posted Tuesday on the internet.

A Mexican law enforcement official who wasn't authorized to speak on the record said the video appeared to be genuine,

"He is the main cause of everything that is happening in Mexico, the robberies, kidnappings, extortion," Gomez is heard saying on the tape. "We are inviting all the groups ... everyone to form a common front to attack Z-40 and put an end to him."

Trevino Morales has a fearsome reputation. "If you get called to a meeting with him, you're not going to come out of that meeting," said a U.S. law-enforcement official in Mexico City, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic.

In two years since Zetas split with their former allies in the Gulf cartel — a split in which Trevino reported played a central role — the gang has become one of Mexico's two main cartels, and is battling the rival Sinaloa cartel.

Now the Zetas' internal disputes have added to the violence of the conflict between gangs. Internal feuds spilled out into pitched battles in the normally quiet north-central state of San Luis Potosi in mid-August, when police found a van stuffed with 14 executed bodies.

San Luis Potosi state Attorney General Miguel Angel Garcia Covarrubias told local media that a 15th man who apparently survived the massacre told investigators that both the killers and the victims were Zetas. "It was a rivalry with the same organized crime group," Garcia Covarrubias said.

The leadership dispute also may have opened the door to lesser regional figures in the Zetas gang to step forward and rebel, analysts and officials said.

Analysts say that a local Zetas leader in the neighboring state of Zacatecas, Ivan Velazquez Caballero, "The Taliban," was apparently trying to challenge Trevino Morales' leadership grab, and that the 14 bullet-ridden bodies left in the van were The Taliban's men, left there as a visible warning by Trevino Morales' underlings.

The Taliban's territory, Zacatecas, appears to have been a hot spot in Trevino's dispute with Lazcano. It was in Zacatecas that a professionally printed banner was hung in a city park, accusing Lazcano of betraying fellow Zetas and turning them in to the police.

Trevino began his career as a teenage gofer for the Los Tejas gang, which controlled most crime in his hometown of Nuevo Laredo, across the border from the city of Laredo, Texas, officials say.

Around 2005, Trevino Morales was promoted to boss of the Nuevo Laredo territory, or "plaza" and given responsibility for fighting off the Sinaloa cartel's attempt to seize control of its drug-smuggling routes. He orchestrated a series of killings on the U.S. side of the border, several by a group of young U.S. citizens who gunned down their victims on the streets of the American city. American officials believe the hit men also carried out an unknown number of killings on the Mexican side of the border, the U.S. official said.

Trevino Morales is on Mexico's most-wanted list, with a reward of 30 million pesos ($2.28 million) offered for information leading to his capture.

Raul Benitez, a security expert at Mexico's National Autonomous University, said that the Zetas are inherently an unstable cartel with an already huge capacity for violence, and the possibility of more if they begin fighting internal disputes. "I think the Zetas are having problems, and there is no central command," he said.

The Zetas have been steadily expanding their influence and reaching into Central America in recent years, constructing a route for trafficking drugs that offloads Colombian cocaine in Honduras, ships it overland along Mexico's Gulf Coast and runs into over the border through Trevino Morales' old stomping grounds.

Samuel Logan, managing director of the security analysis firm Southern Pulse, notes that "personality-wise they (Trevino Morales and Lazcano) couldn't be more different," and believes the two may want to take the cartel in different directions. The stakes in who wins the dispute could be large for Mexico; Lazcano is believed to be more steady, more of a survivor who might have an interest in preserving the cartel as a stable organization.

"Lazcano may be someone who would take the Zetas in a direction where they'd become less of a thorn in the side for the new political administration," Logan said in reference to Enrique Pena Nieto, who is expected to take office as president on Dec. 1. "In contrast, Trevino is someone who wants to fight the fight."

Referring to Ignacio "Nacho" Coronel, a member of the rival Sinaloa Cartel who died in a shootout with soldiers in July 2010, Logan noted, "Trevino is someone who is going to want to go out, like Nacho Coronel went out, with his guns blazing."




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