Nowhere to hideCrimestoppers and SOCA hunt more UK criminals in Spain

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James Walter TOMKINS – aged 58 (place of birth: London) – Metropolitan Police ServiceOffences: It is alleged that Tomkins murdered Rocky DAWSON in Hornchurch, Essex on 2May 2006. He is also wanted for the possession of a firearm with intent to endanger life.There is a £20,000 reward for information leading to Tomkins’ arrest.Description: M1.73 tall, medium to stocky build, scar close to left eye, scar on brow,scar on right side of neck, sometimes wears a close cut beard. Has links to Marbella,Fuengirola, Porto Banus and Benidorm.Aliases and nicknames: Raymond John FARMER, O’FLYNN, “Jimbles”David Alfred ANDREWS – aged 66 (place of birth: Radlett, Herts - HMRC)Offences: Accused of being the principal figure of a drug-trafficking organisation thatbetween 2000 and 2003 conspired to import commercial quantities of cocaine into theUK from South America through the use of corrupt Heathrow Airport employees.Description: 5’11” tall, grey collar length hair, large build, clean shaven.Jason Richard GULLIFORD - aged 36 (place of birth: Lincoln – Nottinghamshire Police)Offences: On 30 April 2003 it is alleged that Gulliford stabbed Neil James Dodd with ascrewdriver over a suspected drugs debt – wounding with intent contrary to Section 18Offenses Against the Person Act 1861 – life imprisonment.Aliases and nicknames: John ANDREWS; Jason Culver PRICE
Description: 6’ x 3” tall (m: 191), heavy build, dark brown hair, tattoo on right arm of ablack panther, tattoo on left shoulder of a black pantherNoel Francis CUNNINGHAM – aged 46 (place of birth: London) Metropolitan PoliceOffences: Conspiracy to rob, conspiracy to steal, having an offensive weapon, handlingstolen goods, escape, wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm, wounding/inflictinggrievous bodily harm with intent, possessing firearm with intent.Description: M1.78 tall, white European appearance, blue eyesDaniel Paul JOHNSTON - aged 27 (place of birth: Burton on Trent) – DerbyshireConstabularyOffences: Between September 2004 and January 2006 Johnston is wanted for carryingtwo robberies, one attempted robbery and one theft in licensed stores in Derbyshire,usually armed with a knife.Description: White male, M175 tall, medium build, blue eyes, short mousey hair, tattooon left arm of a Celtic band, tattoo on left arm of a tribal band, tattoo of letters‘KAINE’ in Celtic writing on abdomen. Johnston is believed to have links in the Malagaregion.Allan James FOSTER – aged 31 (place of birth: South Shields)- Northumbria PoliceOffences: It is alleged that Foster murdered David “Noddy” Rice in Marsden Bay CarPark, South Shields on 24 May 2006. Foster is also wanted for two offences of conspiringto supply controlled drugs and also for the theft of a diamond ring.Description: White European male of mixed race, 5’ x 8” tall, slim build, brown eyes,short black hair, no distinctive marks known. Has links to Canary Islands and Majorca.Scott COLEMAN – aged 33 (place of birth: Liverpool) Grampian PoliceOffences: In 2003 in Aberdeen, Coleman was arrested and charged with possession withintent to supply 2.87 kg of heroin.Description: 6’ x 2” tall, medium build, short brown hair, blue eyes, tattoo of bulldogtattooed on centre of back, Liverpool FC crest tattooed on right leg, lips tattooed onbuttocks. Has links to Benidorm.Keith Brian BURKE – aged 47 (place of birth: Halifax) South Yorkshire PoliceOffenses: Burke was involved in a violent assault that took place in the toilets of “TheTop Club” bar in Edlington, Doncaster on 8 July 2001. He was convicted and sentencedto three years imprisonment for affray.
Description: M173 tall, blue eyes, bald head, dark brown goatee beard, tattoo on rightneck of a devil, tattoo on left side of neck of a swallow.Nicknames: Tattooed KeithJohn BARTON – aged 52 (place of birth: Mansfield) - HMRCOffences: Barton was sentences to 20 years imprisonment in 2003 after being convicted,in his absence, in relation to an offence of conspiring to import a commercial amount ofheroin into the UK between 1999 and 2000.Description: White male, 5’8” tall, medium build, receding dyed brown hair, naturalgrey colour, Midlands accentJohn Cearney BARKER – aged 50 (place of birth: Irvine, Ayrshire) - Strathclyde PoliceOffences: Barker is wanted under two European Arrest Warrants for trafficking incocaine and amphetamine to the value of over £110,000 in 1998 and 1999 withinScotland.Description: 5’11” tall, stocky build, fair hair, blue eyes with a squint to the right eye.Has links with Tenerife.Aliases and nicknames: John Cairney BARKER; John Clearney BARKER, “Jock”Operation Captura arrests to dateJames HURLEY – convicted killer of a police-man who escaped custody in 1994. He wascirculated in the crimestoppers release in Spain and was eventually arrested last year inThe Netherlands for drug offences. (Herts – Metropolitan Police Service)Ian WHITE – tobacco smuggler who masterminded a £6million VAT scam, arrested inSpain. He was tried, convicted and sentenced to six years imprisonment in his absenceon the 11th March 2004. He was also ordered to pay confiscation in the sum of£6,151,841.19 or serve ten years imprisonment in default. He was returned to the UKon the 20th September 2007 and appeared before Maidstone Crown Court on the 21stSeptember 2007. From there he was sent to prison to start serving his sentence. (Essex- HMRC)Anthony SIMMONDS – wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain andcheating VAT of £4million. Arrested in Spain in December 2006. He was returned to theUK 3 Jan 2007. He was produced at Maidstone Crown Court on 4 Jan 2007 and hissentence of 3 years imprisonment was confirmed. He was given a 3 monthimprisonment in respect of the absconding, which is to be served consecutively. He wassent to prison to start serving his sentence. (Birmingham - HMRC)
Clifford HOBBS – escaped in custody on his way to court in London where he was tostand trial for the theft of £1.25million from a security van. Arrested in Spain andreturned to the UK in August 2007. Trial commenced. NB Not for publication orbroadcast - reporting restrictions in place regarding the jury, please check withWoolwich Crown Court if any questions. (London – Metropolitan Police)Dante LATRECHE – wanted for credit card fraud. Arrested in UK in 2007. Receivedsuspended prison sentence. (Luton – Metropolitan Police Service)John DOWDALL - wanted for importing large quantities of cannabis from Spain in 2003.He was tried, convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment in his absence on the17th May 2005. Arrested in Spain. He was returned to the UK on 27th September 2007.He then appeared before Canterbury Crown Court, where he pleaded guilty to a Bail ActOffence. He was sentenced to a further four months imprisonment, which is to runconsecutively to the sentence of five years imprisonment. (Surrey - HMRC)Markcus JAMAL – wanted for conspiracy for murder of Nageeb El Hakem in 2005.Arrested in Spain. Returned to the UK in January 2007. Trial currently underway atSheffield Crown Court. NB Not for publication or broadcast – no reporting restrictionsin place. (Sheffield – South Yorkshire Police).John SETON – wanted for the murder of Jon Bartlett in March 2006. Arrested in TheNetherlands. Returned to the UK in May 2007. Trial due in Spring 2008.(Kent – Metropolitan Police Service).Notes to editors1. Crimestoppers is an independent charity dedicated to solving crimes and takingcriminals off the streets. Around 17 people are arrested and charged every day asa result of information given to Crimestoppers. One person every five days ischarged with murder.Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received 960,000 actionable calls,resulting in nearly 83,000 arrests and charges. Over £100 million worth ofproperty has been recovered and over £144 million worth of drugs.Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft KCMG, Chairman of Trustees. In1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppersis built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the policeand the media.2. The Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) is an intelligence-led agency formed inApril 2006 to tackle Class A drugs and organised immigration crime as toppriorities. Other priorities are fraud against individuals and the private sector, hitech crime, counterfeiting, the use of firearms, serious robbery and recovery ofthe proceeds of crime.


European Arrest Warrant extradition to Spain - Law Lords overturn habeus corpus for Farid Hilali

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The Law Lords have published their Judgment which overturns the writ of habeas corpus ad subjiciendum which had been granted to Farid Hhilali.
Hilali was the first person to be arrested in the Uk under the new, allegedly rapid, European Arrest Warrant extradition procedure under Part 1 of the controversial Extradition Act 2003.
See also the Press Release from his solicitor, the controversial Muddassar Arani.
This case is of interest to us, partly because of the European Arrest Warrant, and also because the evidence seems to be rely on mobile phone intercept evidence and voice recognition evidence, in an alleged terrorist plot case, a topic which politicians and pundits should be debating here in the UK, if the secret Privy Council review under Sir John Chilcot, of Intercept Evidence is actually published before the relevant clauses of the new Counter-terrorism Bill are debated.
Essentially, the Law Lords have decided that the 8 pages of evidence or allegations which the Spanish authorities and the then National Criminal Intelligence Service submitted, when they issued this first European Arrest Warrant in the UK is all irrelevant, and excessive, and should not have been used in the subsequent appeals.
All that the Extradition Act 2003 and the European Framework law behind it requires is a brief description of the alleged offence and proper identification that it is the right person being sought by a court in another European Union country.
There is to be no examination of any actual prima facie evidence, whatsoever.
Interestingly, they have rejected the idea that Hilali should be extradited to Spain to face the charge of belonging to an illegal terrorist orgamisation, so the Spanish authorities will have to try him only on the conspiracy to murder people in the USA and endangering aircraft charges, which stem from his alleged links to the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks in the USA.
However, since the person with whom he is supposed to have had mobile phoen call conversations with, Barakat Yarkas has been cleared of such charges, because of illegally obtained telephone intercepts, which were not properly transcribed or translated from Arabic, it will be astonishing if Farid Hilali is convicted of such charges. Neither he nor even Yarkas are sought by the US authorities for any such direct involvement in the September 11th 2001 attacks.

The important aspects of this case for all the rest of us , is the ease with which you can now be arrested and held in prison awaiting Extradition to another European Union country, without any actual evidence being examined in a British Court.
It is possible to be accused of the most serious terrorist crimes, solely on the basis of easily faked digital mobile phone intercept evidence, which is not admissible in a British Court..
When you then find that there is no actual physical link between the UK end of the mobile phone conversations with the alleged Al Quaeda leader in Spain, it gets even more worrying.
The calls seem to have been traced to South East London locations, but no actual mobile phone handsets, with any financial records or fingerprint or DNA evidence linked to Farid Hilali seems to exist. The actual mobile phones, are probably not even in the possession of the UK authorities.
The coded or simply obscure Arabic phrases which have been revealed as part of the phone conversations, are not exactly hard "smoking gun" evidence of any sort of plot.
All the mobile phone evidence involving Barakat Yarkas was rejected as unsafe by the Spanish Supreme Court, either because it was obtained illegally or it had been badly transcribed and translated from Arabic.
What exactly is the scientific basis for matching the voice of Farid Hilali with that of the mysterious Shakur ? How many False Positives and False Negatives does the technique produce ?
When was a comparison sample of Hilali's voice obtained ? Was it from bugging or intercepting his conversations whilst he was held in a British Prison on immigration charges, or was it from previous interviews with the Spanish authorities ?
How can someone accused on such purely digital evidence, ever hope to prove that some or all of it was faked or selectively edited, something which can be done without detection ?
We have no sympathy for extremist Muslim fanatics, but the
Farid Hilali case frightens us.


Candlelit demonstration for Amy Fitzpatrick safe return

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A candlelit demonstration for Amy Fitzpatrick safe return takes place in Mijas this Sunday, to, as Mijas Town Hall said in a press release, keep alive the hope that she will be found. It comes at the instigation of a number of local residents of differing faiths, including Catholic, Evangelical and Baptist, the Town Hall said, and it’s understood that Amy’s family will be there at the demonstration. It takes place at 7pm on Sunday 3rd February on the Bulevar de La Cala in Mijas Costa.


Argentine General attempts to smuggle cocaine to Spain

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The South American Connection ,Argentine police seized 1.1 metric tons of cocaine destined to be smuggled into Spain by a drug gang led by a retired Argentine military intelligence officer, officials said Saturday.
The bust disrupted a US$67 million operation, making it one of Argentina's "most important" achievements in the fight against drug trafficking, Justice and Security Minister Anibal Fernandez told the C5N television channel.
Police arrested 18 people on Saturday, including retired army intelligence officer Ernesto Lorenzo, who served during Argentina's 1976-83 dictatorship and is believed to be leader of the gang, Fernandez said.
The cocaine had likely been smuggled into Argentina from Bolivia, and was destined for Spain, police chief Hector Roncaglia said.


Crewseekers:Watch what you deliver

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Trevor Collenette, 51, was arrested in Gibraltar in June after customs found £8m of cocaine on the yacht he was on.
He was with three other people delivering the yacht from the Caribbean to Gibraltar.
He was freed on Tuesday after no links were found between him and the drugs.
183 drug slabs
James Neish, a journalist in Gibraltar, who has spoken to Mr Collenette, said: "He spent almost two months in prison and he has described the whole experience as a nightmare.
"As far as he is concerned he just wants to resume his normal life."
Mr Collennette and the others, skipper Jonathan Kelway and crew Martin Genocchio and Kathryn Burman, set sail in May on the yacht from St Lucia in the Caribbean with the aim of delivering it to Gibraltar for its owner.
They had been brought together through the established agency Crewseekers.
The crew arrived in Gibraltar on 4 June and soon afterwards customs found 183 slabs of cocaine valued at £8m in a concealed compartment on the yacht.
All four of the crew were arrested and accused of possession, possession with intent to supply and importation of drugs.
The yacht is reported to be registered to a Gibraltar company and owned by a Croatian national.
Mr Genocchio and Ms Burman have also been released and Mr Kelway is on bail.


Rest from the Bulldozers

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Owners of illegally built homes in Marbella, are a little less worried after a court ruling gave a temporary stay of execution on demolitions in the town.
The Regional Supreme Court (TSJA) ordered that all demolitions of illegal buildings in Marbella be put on hold until the new local development plan (PGOU) is approved.
The region’s highest court says it wants the new PGOU to determine the exact legal status of each building and if the demolition order should be carried out or not. Indeed, it appears the court is passing responsibility to the regional government, saying that as this body has to approve the new PGOU, it should also decide what happens in many of the illegal developments.
The TSJA’s statement has been welcomed by the mayor of Marbella, Ángeles Muñoz. She said that it gave her “great satisfaction and relief” that the court was supporting the stance that has consistently been taken by the Marbella administration.
Marbella now has a draft PGOU that is at the consultation stage. Incredibly, the municipality has not had a clear planning law since 1968. The 1986 development plan was approved but was not published and hence it did not come into effect until 2000, by which time Marbella had descended into planning chaos.
The court’s decision has been widely welcomed by officials in Marbella. The municipality’s spokesperson on town planning had argued for such a course of action, as had those who drew up the new PGOU. It also appears that the regional government’s Department of Public Works backs the proposal.
However, at least one group, Plataforma 29 de Marzo, which represents an array of citizen and environmental associations, spoke out against the court ruling, saying it was merely another example of indecision over what to do about the illegal buildings. The platform wants the teardown orders to be carried out.
Mijas town hall has also announced possible relief for the owners of many of the several hundred illegal homes in the town. The Mijas cases are not large illegal developments, but rather individual homes built on small plots of land in rural zones like La Alberquilla, Entrerríos, La Alquería and Valtocado.
The property owners have banded together to form an action group, which held a protest outside the Auditorio Municipal on Sunday. Now the mayor of Mijas, Antonio Sánchez, has promised that at the next council meeting he will present a proposal that will enable the majority of the properties to be legalised. He acknowledged that there are many cases where the house in question is the owners’ only home, and that the owners would be left in a very difficult situation in the event of demotion.
However, the mayor also stressed that the law must be complied with, and that homes built on public ways or in protected rural zones cannot be legalised and may face the possibility of eventual demolition.


Bulgarians takes control over the security of popular disco clubs in the Costa del Sol

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Bulgarian-Spanish organization plans his serial hit with coca. "Such well equipped and structured Bulgarian organization in Spain we detain for the first time.", Eloy Alvares, Director of Drug traffic department in Judicial police in Madrid comments for 168 hours weekly. The project started with the investigation of the Bulgarian group in Barcelona. We discovered that some of their members had taken on houses and offices by the side of the port located between Malaga and Cadis. The rent contracts were signed on behalf of a company headquartered in Gibraltar. We used to watch the group. We understood they are ready to transfer with a yacht a huge quantity of cocaine from Columbia to the sea cost of Costa del Sol. The itinerary, chosen from the Bulgarian is unusual. The seacoast of Costa del Sol is used mainly for trafficking of hashish coming from Morocco through the strait of Gibraltar towards Spain. "Cocaine" yachts sail mainly from Venezuela to Martinique Island, but the fishing ships loaded with a larger quantity of drugs turn to Galicia."
"We've expected the cocaine to move from Malaga towards Barcelona and after towards another European country.", a participant in the police action comments. "All men on the yacht were from Varna. Several times the yacht had changed its name in the open sea.", the same source adds.
The cops loose the yacht's traces. It is discretely laid at Soto Grande, located at 70 kilometers from Marbella.
On February 13 2005 starts
"Portimar" operation
BWM a property of the group is stopped for a check up. The car is with a Spanish registration number and transfers 80 kilos of cocaine from Soto Grande toward Barcelona. Georgi Kosev from Sofia and the Spaniards Juan Palasin and Arantaso Amoros were at the car, all of them are arrested. Later on at 65 Buena Vista Str. 741 kilos of cocaine are detained. According to the Spanish police this apartment had been used many times as a drug depot. The police arrest many people in Barcelona. Five Bulgarians are detained the in the city - Vasil Ugrinov, Violeta Tzekova, Ivailo Haselbart, Ivan Vladimirov and Ivo Andonov. During the same police raid are detained also the Spanish citizens - Ricardo Himenes, Pedro Meliado and Rashid Belgazi who has an Arabic origin. They are caught at different addresses. Some of them are nabbed at cafes, others in their accommodations and on the street. The cops continue the operations also around the port in Soto Grande. They break in a house at Ribera del Emperador Str.
"During the search we found some 137 kilos of cocaine.", Eloy Alvares, Director of Drug traffic department in Judicial police in Madrid says. "We also found keys marked "Esperite", he adds. The accommodation is at 15 meters from the port. At this place has stopped "Esperite" yacht, sailing under English flag. The yacht turns out to be empty, but secret place for drug concealment is discovered. About ten days later on February 21 in Barcelona the cops arrest some other members of the group - Juan Alaval, Alfonso Rees and Maria Segura. In a search at the house more 79 kilos cocaine, 700 thousands Euro and pistols are found out. The arrested in the operation "Portimar" wait and see the lawsuit at
the arrests in Malaga and Marbella.
More 5-6 Bulgarians are still inquired as participants in the cocaine contraband. The main body of the organization is still under investigation both from the Bulgarian and the Spanish police. "We suspect that the main players are shared out in three organized groups from Sofia, Varna, Pleven and Blagoevgrad.", a high positioned police source comments for "168 hours" weekly. "They are engaged with traffic of cocaine, cars, arms and forge of documents. The organizations have stable positions in Madrid, Malaga and Barcelona.", he adds.
"Higher in the hierarchy are positioned Ivan Paunov - Giovanitto from Varna and Petiu Penukov from Pleven.", a top police official says specially for "168 hours" weekly. "They partner with Radoslav - Radeto from Blagoevgrad, who lives in Spain. Radeto had been very close with Vasil Gorchev - The bad-eyed, killed in Blagoevgrad last year. One of the versions for his killing leads to failed shipments of cocaine, as well."
Bullets for Giovanitto
Right after "Portimar" operation in February, Giovanitto incognito comes back in Varna. He appears there after 6 months absence and with a changed name. On March 13 unknown man opens fire on him through the window display of Soho caf? in Varna. Giovanitto's chests, stomach and legs are covered with holes. Slightly injured is also his girlfriend.
After a long treatment Giovanitto rises to his feet. "The main version for the attempt on Giovanitto's life is a hit of the Columbian organization because of 819 kilos of detained cocaine.", a high positioned official from the internal Ministry comments.
On May 14 in front of "Taj Mahal" restaurant in Sofia shoot dead Konstantin Dishliev - a leasing boss, old friend of the late drug smugglers Dimo Jelev and Kuzman Guslekov. The businessman Dishliev had been at the top of the pyramid, where the financial spates come. It is possible that he had not been aware about this specific operation and its failure. "The police operation "Portimar" caused loss to a large Columbian organization. Obviously its partners are not engaged to pay back the money", Eloy Alvares, Director of Drug traffic department in Judicial police in Madrid explains. The killing of Konstantin Dishliev in Sofia is probably part of settlement of partners' accounts.
It is not impossible through Dishliev;s killing the Columbian to try to comer people of his circle to the wall. They demonstrate them what will happen if they do not pay back the money. Despite the police suspicions that the coordinator of the cocaine action is Dishliev's brother in law - Brendo, the investigation hardly will lead to him. Brendo is not arrested at the time of the operation. Some assume that part of the organizers had kept their money in off-shore zones in Caribbean Sea. The investigation for the money laundry marks no significant progress. Just for the time being.
In a square: A brigade
They are brother in arms still in Bulgaria
"The key players in Spain are Giovanitto, Ivo - The Box and Petiu Penukov from Pleven, Ivo - The Little One from Balchik and Nikolay - Radeto from Blagoevgrad", a specialist from the Internal Ministry reveals.
Giovanitto from Varna, Ivo - The Box and Petiu from Pleven know each other from the middle of 90's. Their group finds points of intersections in car trafficking from Bulgaria to the former Soviet Republics, state criminologists working on the case. Ivo - The Box and Petiu Penukov come to live with "their colleagues" in Varna. In the end of 90's they all leave for Spain. Giovanitto, Ivo - The Box and Petukov become leaders of criminal groups in Spain, claim specialist in Spain. In Spain the Bulgarians work together with Englishmen, Frenchmen and Spaniards, positioned on higher levels in the organized criminality. The westerners organize and finance the deals. The Bulgarian bosses assure the escort and the security, the transport and part of the distribution of the good. Close to the core, gravitate satellite groups with floating structure that fulfill the orders. These are boys that travel regularly between Bulgaria and Spain. The bosses replace them every two or three months. Most of the mules do not have police records and their past is clear. "Ivo - The Box is a very powerful and well known person.", says a criminologist from Malaga for "168 hours weekly" and adds: "We were shadowed him. He left for Bulgaria together with his right hand Petio Penukov, investigated for car thefts. They change their residence replacing Pleven with Varna and vise versa. At the present their organization in Marbella takes care about other people."
Ivo - The Box has a forwarding company with 25 trucks for international transport and official and legal business.
Just to the very start of "Portimar" operation Giovanitto is in Spain and controls the business from Marbella and Malaga. For him works one of the strongest groups for car, hashish and cocaine trafficking, police sources claim.
As a main partner of Giovanitto, Ivo- The Box and Petiu Penukov the cops point out Radoslav Radev from Blagoevgrad. He is also with strong positions among the Bulgarian groups in Barcelona and Madrid. At present he is in Spain. Radeto is very close with Vassil Gorchev - The blind one, the financial boss shot dead last years in Blagoevgrad. According to police information the group of Radeto in Spain has received financial support from The Blind one, who from his side has worked with a boss of VIS force group. Part of the investments made by The blind one, comes back legally to Bulgaria as a luxury cars.
Along with the work on "Portimar" operation one more Bulgarian lights up - Ivo - The Little one from Balchik. He lives in Madrid from 10 years. He is an ex culturist. They describe him as a smart man, the split and image of Tom Cruz. Prior his departure to Spain he works at the sports hall of a popular Bulgarian culturist. In Spain he creates a group of 50-60 bodyguards. He fights to take under his control the security of a disco clubs. After a round of street scrimmage with hand to hand fighting he manages to thrust upon the Spanish gypsies, who used to guard the night clubs by then. Under his guidance the Bulgarians takes control over the security of popular disco clubs in Madrid and Costa del Sol. "The Bulgarians have the image of one of the most powerful securities. They groups consist of fighters, judo fighters, boxers, karate players. This is important because at the disco clubs mass beatings often happen provoked by Moroccans, Algerians and Columbians.", says a Bulgarian in Spain.
"The disco clubs in Spain are used as a market and for distribution of drugs.", a police from the department for organized criminality in "Guardia civil" in Madrid says for "168 hours" weekly. Ivo - The Little one buys the drugs wholesale from Bulgarian groups and resell it to the security in the night clubs. Thanks to the connections with the underworld Ivo - The little one makes bigger deliveries to more significant clients. People from his closest circle have bough houses in Madrid, Ibiza and Palma de Majorca.
Part of the drugs detained during "Portimar" operation had to be distributed on the home market in Spain.
In a square: Eloy Alvares, Director of Drug traffic department in judicial police in Madrid:
The Bulgarians are involved in all types of crimes
- Mr. Albares, what is the role of the Bulgarian organized criminality in the cocaine trafficking from Latin America to Europe?
- The Bulgarians are involved in all types of crimes, but less with cocaine trafficking for the time being. During "Portimar" operation we detained a serious organization of Bulgarian criminals with big quantity of drugs. The operation took place thanks to the coordinated work with Bulgarian Internal Ministry and General- Lieutenant Boyko Borisov. For a long time we watched the group in Barcelona with a special devices. We've ascertained that they are preparing to transfer 819 kilos of cocaine from Columbia. Unfortunately the two main Bulgarian organizers escaped before the start of the operation. At the moment they are investigated for drug trafficking. This is the first case when a serious quantity of cocaine is cornered in the region of Malaga and Marbella, ferried with a yacht. Still at the seaside of Costa del Sol come a lot of hashish and little cocaine. Marbella and Malaga are The Mecca of hashish, because they are closely located to Morocco. From here passes the big part of the traffic of joint from Africa to United Kingdom. Usually the hashish is reloaded and stored in Malaga. Recently during a specialized operation we detained a boat with 8 tones of hashish coming from Morocco and going to UK. The drug enters on the territory of Spain mainly with fishing ships or containers. That is why we were surprised that a yacht with cocaine is sailing towards Costa del Sol. This way of trafficking is relatively new. Between 500 and 1000 kilos elite Latin-American drug can be transported with a boat like the "Bulgarian one". The organizers have invented a perfect system to pass by unnoticed and to cover themselves, because along the seaside of Costa del Sol sail a lot of boats.
- How the large smugglers of cocaine in Spain act?
- The most powerful organizations import bigger quantities and use fishing ships and then containers. They prefer the seaside of Galisi province. The shore there is too specific; it is broken with many high costs, there are no ways leading to the seacoast and is difficult to be controlled. There are a lot of fishing ships in this area and the smugglers are hiding among them. The observation of the yachts is too difficult because extra motors are assembled on the ships and they become extremely powerful. They move with an incredible speed. A crater slipped out of us and with a lightning speed got out to the ocean. The vessel was out of fuel. Another ship came to help the crew by giving them fuel. Later we arrested the quick carter and found in it 6 tons of cocaine.
- What kind of tricks "the pirates" use trying to outplay you?
- To further complicate the system, the drug smugglers reload the drug in an open sea. There are operations when the cocaine is thrown across through 4-5 ships. This happens with the speed of light in the sea. These organizations are closed societies; it is difficult to be investigated. They know the sea to perfection; they are clear about with our style of work and find a way to oppose us. They install to the drug counterweight and GPS systems. Then they send it to the bottom if they see we are approaching them or when they feel suspicious helicopters over their heads. Later they find the drug by means of a radio signal. Usually we attack the ships with special police forces. They jump on board and for several minutes take possession of the situation prior the drug to stagger to the water. When the drug comes to Galicia they hide it in their homes, caves and storehouses. As a rule there are two places when the drug could be hidden. The first one belongs to the Columbians, but the second is smugglers' one - the people who have to take the money.
- During "Temple" operation you've arrested 52 Columbian drug smugglers starting with the bosses and finishing with the distributors. Could you tell us more about it?
- "Temple" operation took place in 1999 and we detained 13 tons of cocaine. Part of them we caught on a ship, the rest we found in an apartment in Galicia. We detained 52 people. During the investigation we clarified all the structure of the organization. We even reached the bosses. In 2001 we discovered one of the most important drug mafia bosses in Spain - Sito Minianko, who by the way had adopted unique safety measures. It was very hard to keep an eye on him, because he had a counter surveillance. He never used to spoke over the phone. One day he went in one of his shops in Madrid and bought approximately 1000 SIM carts. We decided to secretly introduce in his organization two assistants - the first one from DEA - The American Service for Drug fighting, another one from Canada. They attained to Sito Minianko's partner in Columbia and offered him to transport the cocaine with their ship. He bit to the bite. A judge allowed the ship to go to Latin America. Near by Peru they load the ship with 4 tones of cocaine. All the crew, including the captain, was collaborators of the Spanish police. The ship passed through the seaside of the United States. Over there we get into another 11 special service policemen who had to control the situation. After that all the crew rushed at the Atlantic Ocean. Sito Minianko's organization sent another ship to reload the drug in open sea. When the ships reached their heads, the Spanish special services captured them. We collected evidences and Minianko - the unapproachable one was sentence to 18 years in prison.
- What are the new tendencies in the trafficking of cocaine coming from Latin America?
- During mass police actions, we detained more than 20 fishing ships from Columbia. This leaded to a change of the strategies of the organizations. There is a tendency the drug trafficking to change its itinerary and to pass through the African zone of the Atlantic Ocean. It passes through Morocco, Mauritania, Ghana, Gambia, Senegal, and Togo. These are countries with extremely weak police control. The authorities there do not have enough knowledge and experience to fight with the drugs. Hashish's way is yet used for trafficking of cocaine. The last operations are proving this assumption. Recently near by Alhesiras we detained a fast ship equipped with additional motors. 1 ton of hashish and 500 kilos of cocaine, several Columbians and Moroccans were detained in it. This shipment was the serial proof that the ways of the African and the Latin American drug cuts across.

Bulgarian Investigative Journalism Center (BIJC) is an nongovernmental and uncommercial foundation, whose main goal is to organize and produce journalistic inquiries against the corruption and the organised crime. BIJC popularize the investigative journalism in Bulgaria and in the European Union.The foundation unites bulgarian journalists with experience in the area of the investigative journalism.


Mari Luz father Juan José Cortés

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Disappeared Children on the Costa Del Fear.

Juan José Cortés said that some people are asking for money in his name, but outside the official and single bank account which has been opened in the BBVA bank.
The father of Mari Luz, the missing five year old from Huelva, has said that people are making money in his name.
It’s now two weeks since the five year old vanished when returning home the few metres from the local sweets kiosk. Searches have been carried out over the weekend in the nearby villages of Moguer and Mazagón and a group of volunteers are collecting signatures in demand that the investigations in the case continue.
They spent the weekend at the doors of the Hipercor-Costa de la Luz local commercial centre in Huelva. Some of the volunteers helping in the weekend searches are students from the Huelva University
Local police in Huelva continue to search garages and basements in the area of El Torrejón where the family live.


Another attempt child Snatch in Arroyo de la Miel on the Costa del Sol

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Another attempt child Snatch on the Costa del Sol. Diario Sur reports that it happened on Friday afternoon after 2pm, when an 11 year old girl was making her way home after school. She had to walk no more than 300m along the Avenida Inmaculada Concepción to her home in Arroyo de la Miel in Benalmádena when an unknown young man blocked her way at a crossing, got out of his car, put his hand over her mouth, and tried to force her into his vehicle which is reported to have been grey in colour.
However the child fought back and kicked and managed to make her escape, thanks also to a passing woman who intervened. Local police were alerted by other parents when the child ran crying back to school, but controls failed to catch the kidnapper.
Information on the case has now been passed onto the Specialist Crime Unit UDEV of the National Police. Meanwhile the local police in Benalmádena say they want to question the woman passerby who helped out, as she remains unidentified.


Antoino Banderas has been given two months to knock it down

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A court in Andalucía rejected an appeal by Banderas's lawyers against a demolition order handed down in 2003. He was given permission by Marbella's town council in 1995 to build a large extension to his villa, but the court has now ruled that the add-on is illegal and Banderas has been given two months to knock it down.
He and his wife, Melanie Griffith, bought the villa, set in two acres of land, 11 years ago as a holiday home, but it has been a source of controversy since they built the extension. Part of the extra wing, which comprises nearly one-fifth of the house, reaches the water's edge and is built on land designated for public use.
For years the Spanish authorities turned a blind eye to illegal developments that disfigured the country's coastlines, because the construction industry was a vital motor for the economy. Now regional governments are cracking down and a law that prevents construction within 100 metres of the sea is being more vigorously applied, although the environment ministry has said that only the worst cases will require demolitions.
There has also been a move to root out the widespread corruption in town councils, in which officials took bribes in return for issuing building permits. The entire town council of Marbella, previously run by a controversial mayor, Jesus Gil y Gil, was dismissed last year, with 50 officials accused of corruption that led to the building of 30,000 illegal houses


70,000 files Spanish child pornography on the Internet

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The Spanish Civil Guard arrested a total of 51 people and charged a further 20 on Friday in 27 provinces across the country in a swoop against child pornography and the corruption of minors on the internet. Eight of the arrests took place in Madrid, eight more in Barcelona, six in Valencia, four in Alicante, three in Tarragona and Málaga and two in Baleares, Granada, Guipúzcoa and Sevilla among other provinces.
The case came about after a resident of Córdoba came across some of the material and informed the authorities in March last year. It’s been revealed that a high-ranking police officer in the local force in Zaragoza and a staff psychiatric at a hospital in the city are amongst the 67 people who have been arrested this week in three separate operations relating to distribution of child pornography over the Internet. According to information published in the Aragón newspaper, El Diario de Aragón, the two men were arrested on Tuesday, and both their homes were searched.
The paper said the doctor had some 70,000 files on his computer, while the officer is accused of downloading pornographic images of children. Both are married men with children, they said.
It is unclear if the two suspects are connected with the 13 arrests which took place across the country on Tuesday in ‘Operación Bea.’ The swoop came after months of investigation, and began when a woman who was searching for information about babies on the net came across pornographic images.
Twenty of those arrested have been charged with the crimes of corruption of minors and of possession of child pornography.
Some 200 civil guards took part in simultaneous searches in 73 homes in 28 provinces, and several computers, drives, hard discs, DVD’s and CD’s removed. The total number of images recovered in the operation, code named ‘Fabiola’ is thought to be more than a million.
It follows the arrest in Vitoria on Thursday of another three people who face charges of distributing child pornography in a file share program on the net.


Spanish police believe Amy Fitzpatrick may have run away from home

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Spanish police believe Amy Fitzpatrick may have run away from home.

They said yesterday that they are becoming increasingly convinced that the 15-year-old disappeared voluntarily and was not abducted after leaving a friend's house, where she had been babysittting on New Year's Day.
Civil Guard officers leading the search for Amy are still hunting for a white Ford Fiesta belonging to Ritchie O'Shea, a friend of the teenager's family, who was arrested last week after police questioning. Last night, they released the English numberplate of the car in the hope it will jog the memory of a member of the public.
The number plate is C955 SLK. Detectives believe finding it could be crucial to their investigation.
Amy is reported to have driven the car on several occasions after opening it with a screwdriver.
Hilario Lopez Luna, government delegate for the Malaga province where Amy's family lives, said: "All lines of investigation are open; no hypothesis has been ruled out."
But he added: "One very important line of investigation is that she left voluntaril
Investigators have yet to come up with any clues to her whereabouts more than three weeks after she vanished near her Costa del Sol home on New Year's Day.


Bank Robbers based in Marbella

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The gang’s main base was in Marbella, in Málaga province, and they were closely linked to another gang in Marbella from the Mazzarella clan of the Napolitan Camorra – the Naples mafia. The clan leader in Spain was arrested along with 13 other people in police swoops which took place in Málaga province and the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in July last year, dubbed Operación Tizona.
That operation impounded 60 vehicles and seven properties valued at 5 million €, and also seized 2.5 tons of cannabis.

Gang of bank robbers, said to be the largest in Spain, which is believed to have carried out 34 armed robberies in seven Spanish provinces: Granada, Málaga, Murcia, Cuenca, Madrid, Burgos and Alicante. Their total haul between April 2006 and March last year was 750,000 €.
The arrests have been taking place since January last year, and include two gang members who were caught in the act in attempted bank robberies. There have been eleven arrests in the past 12 months, and they include suspects from Spain, Belgium and Italy, with some of the arrests taking place with the help of Italian police in Naples.


House jacking in San Miguel de Salinas

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family in San Miguel de Salinas is recovering from their terrifying experience in the early hours of Monday when a group of eight masked robbers, armed with guns, knives, and a baseball bat, assaulted their home on the Avenida del Prado, and made away with the jewellery and cash the family had in the safe.
The wife told the Información newspaper that they had Eastern European accents, and that some of the group held their children hostage in the bedroom, while the parents were told to collect all the money in the house. She described them as well-trained professionals.
The paper said the owner is a real estate agent who is well known in the town.


Mari Luz Cortes (

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Juan José Cortés spoke of his anger at the lack of progress which has been made, and confirmed that the family will be contracting the services of a private detective agency to help in the investigation. He said two have contacted him, and a third, outside Spain, is ‘interested in the case.’ The family has opened a bank account in the BBVA bank for any donations.
He also mentioned new police information that his daughter crossed the road after the leaving the kiosk where she had gone to buy a bag of crisps, and said she would not have done so alone, as she knew it was totally forbidden.
In Andalucía, hundreds supported a protest outside Málaga City Hall on Tuesday morning, with others also taking place in Granada and Cádiz. The demonstration in Huelva set off from Mari Luz’s home in El Torrejón, and three doves were released into the air when the protestors arrived at City Hall.
The search for Mari Luz meanwhile goes on, and on Tuesday, apart from Huelva itself, extended to Gibraleón and Trigueros. They will move later to the woods of Moguer and Palos de la Frontera if nothing is found, and as far as Mazagón, El Mundo said.

Juan José Cortés, the father of the missing five year old from Huelva, Mari Luz, who vanished on January 13, said yesterday that he is optimistic for a quick advance in the investigation and that the hopes of finding her well were ever greater.
His comments to the press came after a meeting at the Provincial Police Station in Huelva with those carrying out the investigation.
Juan José Cortés said that the hopes of finding the child well were greater than everThe father, while admitting that the clues did not currently indicate any person in particular, they did go towards ‘completing the puzzle’.
‘There was an ever greater chance that she is still alive’, he said, and called for anyone who knew anything to come forward. He said that anyone who supplied information which led to the return of his daughter would be well rewarded.
The family have opened a webpage which has information on the case and a forum.
Meanwhile a large new search is being organised over this weekend using quad bikes and horses across the local marshes. Juan José encouraged the public to take part.


Antonio Banderas and his illegal property in Marbella

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Antonio Banderas and his illegal property in Marbella. Like many people who purchased property in the town, the actor bought a home that appeared to have the correct licences, but later turned out to have received its licence during the period when Jesus Gil y Gil was mayor and the town plans were illegally redrawn.

There's a strong likelihood that many of the illegal homes in Marbella will be legalised, and the authorities are meticulously going through an estimated 12,000 building licences. The ones likely to cause the most problems are those built on protected land or land earmarked for public amenities like schools, hospitals and public transport infrastructure. Unfortunately for Mr Banderas, under the legal town plan his property - which he purchased as a resale - was constructed on the beach, on land set out for public use and so his villa will have to be demolished. It's in the same area as the villas that were demolished earlier in the month, and the local authorities are determined not to show any favouritism. It appears in the Spanish press not so and that the Regional Government is prepared to make an execption in this case. There still remains a problem of the swimming pool and jacuzzi extensions to the property and wether they have been granted planning permission. Perhaps being a famous actor has influence over the authorities or is it the band of lawyers fighting his case.


‘Amy is just a child,’ Audrey Fitzpatrick said, just 15 years old and she’s disappeared without a trace.

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Audrey Fitzpatrick says she feels ‘impotent,’ with the lack of any positive information, despite the Civil Guard having done everything they can by searching for her daughter, and interviewing friends and family. Amy’s mother said the family will hand out posters and leaflets of the teenager across Spain, ‘from Alicante to Gibraltar,’ in the hope of any information which could help bring the 15 year old home. They said they are aware that interest in Amy’s case could fade as time goes on, particularly after the disappearance of five year old Mari Luz, who vanished from Huelva on 13th January.

the EFE news agency has quoted sources close to the investigation saying that the possibility that she may have left of her own free will is becoming stronger. They noted in their report on Wednesday a comment from Hilario López Luna, the government delegate for Málaga province, that one ‘very important line of investigation’ is that she left voluntarily.Audrey, said in a statement released on Tuesday that the family is becoming more and more worried as time goes on, as they are convinced that Amy would have been in contact by now to let them know she was safe.
The latest news on the investigation is that the Garda are investigating possible sightings in Ireland, and the Civil Guard on the Costa del Sol are looking for a white car belonging to a family friend which went missing after Amy disappeared, on the chance that she might have taken it.


Difficult to spot these men because they change their identity they often have support and protection from their friends.

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Police hope ex-pats or holidaymakers might recognise the wanted men in bars, golf clubs or supermarkets.
Some of the runaways are thought to be involved in more criminality in Spain, where drug trafficking, particularly cannabis, is huge business.
The suspects being hunted are:
Three East Midlands men have been named among 10 suspected criminals who police claim are on the run in the "Costa del Crime" region of Spain.
Jason Richard Gulliford, 36, from Lincoln, is wanted by Nottinghamshire Police in connection with the stabbing of another man over a drugs debt in April 2003.
Daniel Paul Johnston, 27, from Burton on Trent, is wanted in connection with the attempted robbery of an off-licence. He was allegedly armed with a knife.
John Barton, 52, from Mansfield, was sentenced in his absence to 20 years' imprisonment in 2003. He was convicted for his role in a plot to import large quantities of heroin into the UK between 1999 and 2000.
Police want the public to help them trace them and seven other fugitives thought to be living in the Costa del Sol region of southern Spain.
James Tomkins, wanted for a gangland murder in East London.
John Barton, jailed in his absence for 20 years for heroin smuggling.
Noel Cunningham, suspected of armed robbery, GBH and gun offences in London.
Jason Gulliford, alleged to have stabbed a rival with a screwdriver in a row over drugs.
Scott Coleman, jumped bail on heroin supply charges.
Daniel Johnston, wanted for robberies in Derbyshire.
Keith Burke, suspected of a violent assault in a Doncaster bar.
David Andrews, allegedly smuggled cocaine though Heathrow using corrupt airport staff.
Allan Foster, said to have shot a man dead in a gangland hit in South Shields.
John Barker, wanted for cocaine and amphetamine smuggling.
Chief Inspector Alfredo Marijuan, of Malaga police, said: "British people like to help the police.
"But it's difficult to spot these men because they change their identity and they often have support and protection from their friends. They rarely move outside their own group."

But it has worked in the past. When Crimestoppers published the pictures of the first 10 suspects half of them were arrested within a year


Paul Anthony Bures,Graeme Marshall, Peter Melling, Derek Marshall

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Paul Anthony Bures an ex-pat builder from Kent, living in Spain had been on a Crime Stoppers “most wanted” list before he gave himself up last October.
Co-accused Middlesbrough man, Peter Melling, also living in Spain, had already been arrested in Bulgaria last July.A paedophile chain possibly based in Spain linked to four men, two of whom had moved to live in the same area of Spain.
They are awaiting sentence with a father and son, formerly from North Shields, who admitted facilitating the abuse.
Judge John Evans adjourned sentence for reports.
But remanding Melling, 57, and Bures, 53, in custody, he warned: “These are serious matters and custodial sentences are inevitable.”
Bures admitted sexual activity with a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity between August and October 2006. He further admitted possessing indecent images of children in March last year.
Melling, from Urban San Luis, Spain, admitted eight charges of sexual activity with a child between December 2004 and October 2006. Those offences involve four different boys.
Two other defendants, Derek Marshall and his son Graeme Marshall, admitted arranging or facilitating the commission of child sex offences.
Marshall junior, 24, formerly of Ripley Avenue, North Shields, admitted taking one boy to Melling’s home in Torrevieja, Spain and another to a caravan park in Sandy Bay, Northumberland, where he left him unsupervised with Melling.
Marshall senior, 51, of Melbourne Street, Carlisle, admitted arranging for a boy to spend a night with Melling in a bedroom and taking another to him.
All four defendants had been due to stand trial but entered their guilty pleas.
Marshall senior and Melling had lived together in Middlesbrough for years as younger men and may have continued to communicate.
Bures had been living in the Albox area of Spain, with his wife Denise, a chiropodist. Melling had settled in an area nearby and it is believed the men became pals.
However, police were never able to establish how all the defendants had forged their sinister connections.
Melling and Bures both have previous separate convictions for indecent assault on a male.
Amanda Rippon, prosecuting, said Melling and Bures would automatically be banned for life from working with children. They must also register as sex offenders.
Melling was deported from Bulgaria to stand trial for the child sex offences.
All four men are now due to be sentenced on February 8.


Corrupt Marbella, Madrid, Avila

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Corruption in Marbella: The biggest case of corruption to be uncovered in Spain so far. A police investigation into money laundering and drug trafficking in southern Spain codenamed operation white whale and involving phone tapping overheard conversations between politicians in Marbella which led to a parallel investigation being set up to investigate bribery, corruption, manipulation of public tenders and compensation for illegal building licences. Over 150 police participated in "Operation Malaya" and six months ago over 20 people were arrested, including the then Mayoress and Deputy Mayoress of Marbella. The investigation is still going on, and the profits made by people participating in this massive network of corruption is expected to be millions and millions of euros.

Corruption in Madrid: The authorities of various town halls in the suburbs of Madrid are suspected of accepting commissions for allowing building to be developed on protected land, accepting commissions or being involved in the purchase of cheap land where building is not allowed, then modifying the urban laws so that building becomes legal, and then reselling the land for huge sums of money to property developers. Earlier this week it was revealed that an uncle of the President of the Region of Madrid made an enormous profit on land which was re-catagorised as building land shortly after he bought it a few years ago.

Today El País publishes a conversation held 3 years ago in which a former PP councillor of Tres Cantos, Madrid, in reference to the concession by the Town Hall of a massive property development to a private company is reported as saying "I want my 11 percent of the 30,000 million" (pesetas)"Give me the dough and I'll go". According to el Pais, the ex-PP councillor has acknowleded the declarations but said they were made in the heat of the moment. Meanwhile the same paper today reports that two former mayors of another Madrid suburb, Ciempozuelos, this time from the Socialist party, recently paid 916,000 euros into personal bank accounts in a bank in Andorra. The PSOE party forced the current mayor to resign when the public prosecutor ordered an investigation into possible irregular operations in the urban policies of Ciempozuelos last week and the Socialist party has announced a "Zero-tolerance" policy on urban corruption on all sides.

Corruption in Avila: Earlier this month building on a golf course in Avila was bought to a halt after ecologists protested that the developer - a private company set up by the local and regional administration - was ignoring a court order to stop cutting down trees in a protected area.


Mari Luz Cortés :No statement has been made today as to whether the police now have a main line of enquiry in the case or not.

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The local police from Sevilla together with the International Police Association, IPA, have been helping in the search, concentrated on marshland next to the Odiel river where an earlier search of the area revealed nothing. Five shallow bottomed boats supplied by
SOS Ayuda Sin Fronteras are being used in the work.
Meanwhile the neighbours of the family of the missing child held a meeting in the Plaza Rosa in the El Torrejón area of Huelva. The meeting was called to organise more search parties which will work in collaboration with the official search and police investigation. No statement has been made today as to whether the police now have a main line of enquiry in the case or not.
Local rubbish tips were at the centre of the searches on Friday, including the main local treatment plant on the road between La Palma del Condado and Valverde del Camino.
Divers have also been searching in the nearby Tinto river.


Seven people who were being held hostage

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Lepe a sleepy small provincial town close to the Portugese border more famous for its strawberrys than crime was stirred into the headlines when a group of seven people who were being held hostage in Lepe and Cartaya, Huelva province, were freed this weekend, in a Civil Guard operation which took the seven kidnappers into custody. EFE says two of the kidnappers lived in Cartaya, itself, three others from elsewhere in Huelva province, another in Madrid and the seventh in Holland. Two of them have Moroccan nationality.
Four of the hostages were found under guard in two vehicles parked near the Marina Ocio shopping centre in Lepe following a report to Lepe local police from the son of one of those who were being held. He said his parent was being held by kidnappers in the area after being missing from home for two days.
The kidnappers were nearby and were arrested as they tried to escape.
The remaining three hostages were found near a chalet in Cartaya, four kilometres outside Lepe, after managing to escape when the kidnappers left. All seven were previously held captive in the property.
There was no indication in the report if the kidnappers had made any demands for a ransom.


Amy Fitzpatrick, 15, used to take refuge in the neighbour's home

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The police investigation into the disappearance of Amy Fitzpatrick in Mijas, Málaga, found a new lead Thursday when a neighbour testified that his car, which he often lent to the girl, had gone missing on 1 January.
The 35-year-old British man told the Civil Guard that he had not reported his car missing until now because he feared being arrested over two old traffic violations. But an interrogation has yielded "several contradictions," police sources said yesterday.
Amy Fitzpatrick, 15, used to take refuge in the neighbour's home when she had arguments with her family, her best friend Ashley Rubio told investigators. The man is friends with the missing girl's stepfather.
The girl disappeared on 1 January after visiting her friend Ashley, who lives close by in a gated community in this resort town on Costa del Sol.


Mari Luz Cortés possible lead in the case

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El Mundo newspaper said Mari Luz’s grandfather, Juan José Cortés, spoke of ‘Romanian’ immigrants, who he thought may have kidnapped his grand-daughter out of ‘revenge’ for the family’s refusal to allow them stalls at the Sunday market they run in El Portil.
police are in contact with an un-named person who could be connected with the disappearance of Mari Luz Cortés, the five year old girl who went missing after leaving her home in Huelva City on Sunday to buy a bag of crisps. Juan José López Garzón told journalists that the person is not a suspect at this stage, nor has been arrested.
He also noted that there is no known connection with any other case of missing children, just as there is not, he said, between any of the other cases reported in Andalucía in recent months.
Mari Luz’s father, Juan José Cortés, speaking outside his home in the Torrejón district of Huelva, meanwhile told the press that police are working on a lead, and said he himself had a suspect in mind, although it had nothing to do with the police investigation, he said. He confirmed that Kate McCann, whose daughter Madeleine, went missing on the Portuguese Algarve in May last year, had been in contact to show her support.


Marcos Javier Rodríguez could have been involved in several unsolved disappearances of children

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Police in Gran Canaria arrested a suspected accomplice of Marcos Javier Rodríguez, a 35-year-old man taken into custody last week for the attempted kidnapping of a nine-year-old girl.
José Segura, the government delegate in the Canary Islands, did not release the identity of the second suspect, although he indicated that he may have participated in the kidnapping attempt.
Rodríguez, the owner of an animal crematorium, who has a criminal record for sexually abusing his daughter, was identified by the victim in a police line-up last Tuesday. He allegedly grabbed the girl, Sandra Domínguez, as she walked home and tried to force her into the back of a white van.
The case has raised suspicions that Rodríguez, who has been remanded in custody, could have been involved in several unsolved disappearances of children on Gran Canaria in recent years, including that of 10-year-old Yeremi Vargas and 14-year-old Sara Morales. Police forensic teams scoured Rodríguez's closed-down crematorium last week in search of human remains.Police on Gran Canaria have been searching a pet crematorium on the Salinetas industrial estate in Telde in their investigations into Marcos Javier Rodríguez Cabrera, for any possible leads into the disappearance of two children missing from the Canary Islands, Yeremi Vargas and Sara Morales. The Mail on Sunday noted that officers on Gran Canaria ‘are aware of the Madeleine McCann case and have been fully briefed about it,’ and mentioned possible links to her case. They quoted a police source saying that cases of disappearing children are relatively ‘rare in this part of the world’ and ‘it is not impossible for those few that have occurred to be linked.’
The suspect worked at the crematorium before it was closed down. A specialist anthropologist has been called in to identify bones found at the scene, to establish whether they come from animals or humans.


Enrique and Leopoldo Faura:Grupo Mirador

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The CEO of a Málaga developer and his brother are being charged with fraud by around 20 clients who made a down payment on houses that were never built.
The buyers, who are mostly British, filed charges against Grupo Mirador, which is run by Enrique and Leopoldo Faura, after waiting nearly five years for their homes to be built in Fuente de la Piedra. In April 2003 the victims of the alleged fraud paid between EUR 30,771 and EUR 88,024 in advance for houses whose construction is yet to be completed.
The irregular proceedings also extend to the bank that was meant to guarantee the return of the money should the contract between the clients and the developer be rescinded. Caja Hipotecaria Centro Sur S.A. was registered in Panama and is no longer operational.
A number of British citizens have taken the property company Grupo Mirador and the sales agency Palmera Properties to courts for fraud. The sales company, located in Benalmadena, which specialised in selling “off-plan properties”, took commissions of up to 3,500 Euro from the clients when they made their initial down payments.
Grupo Mirador, which had developments in Benalmadena, Villanueva de Rosario and Fuente de Piedra, spread over a number of small companies, have sold houses, which have later been seized as security against the companies’ debts. They have also issued payment notes without funds, used bank guarantees with a financial company that lacks authorisation for this activity and have failed to comply with the building specifications for their projects. Some of the companies in the group are in a ruinous financial situation, with important embargoes
The promoter Francisco Contreras, known as “El Pocero” upon a sentence for 4 years imprisonment by the Madrid courts, promptly appealed the decision in the Constitutional Courts. He deposited the 1.9 million Euro in guarantees demanded by the judge.
Contreras has projected a town with 13,500 dwellings in Sesena (Toledo), without guarantees for a stable water supply. The project was approved by the previous (socialist) mayor and also the regional government of Castilla – La Mancha.
In Catral (Alicante) the new PP municipal government, which succeeded the socialist mayor who had authorised the construction of 1,300 illegal houses, has presented a new general plan which includes all the illegal construction. The Regional government has ordered the bulldozing of 34 houses, is preparing the order for demolition of another 81. Over the summer the illegal construction has continued, in spite of the previous fireworks from the Regional Government
The PP majority in Orihuela town hall, without the obligatory certificate of water supply from the Hidrographic Conferederation of the water district Jucar, has approved a plan to build a further 2,570 houses on the coast.


Amy Fitzpatrick, Mari Luz Cortés just two of 200 disappeared in Spain

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This year alone there has been 8,000 missing reports for children.Most are returned within a number of days.Amy Fitzpatrick, Mari Luz Cortés, Jeremy Vargas, Sara Morales, Josúe Monge are part of the 200 children who have remained disappeared with little or no trace as to there whereabouts.Police in Spain are looking for as many as 200 missing children across the mainland and the islands. Among those currently being searched for are Yeremi Vargas, Amy Fitzpatrick, Mari Luz Cortés, Sara Morales, and Juan Pablo Martínez.
The number of 200 is the number of open cases currently to be found in the archives of the National Police, Civil Guard, and the regional police forces La Ertzaintza and Los Mossos. When adults are included there are currently 11,936 people reported missing.
Each year some 8,000 disappearances are reported to the police but most of these turn out to be temporary cases, often of children running away.
The so-called ‘high risk’ cases are those where a crime has taken place and the child was taken against his or her will. These are often cases of kidnap, rape and even murder, police sources told the 20 minutos newspaper.
Police have also noted of late that there are more cases of a custody dispute between divorced parents, and that the numbers show that mixed marriages where one of the partners is foreign, have a greater possibility to end in such an outcome.
As an example of this they say in March last year the police found two brothers aged 8 and 6, who had been kidnapped by their father two years before.
The cases such as Yeremi Vargas or Sara Morales are those which unfortunately are more likely to end badly, and over the past ten years in Spain as many as 15 missing youngsters have been found dead. The last one was 15 year old, Fernanda Fabiola, who vanished in Tenerife in July last year and was found dead a month later. She had been raped by her killer, a Colombian man who has since been arrested.
Gran Canaria is the area of Spain most affected of late with the two high profile cases of Yeremi Vargas and Sara Morales. Just last week a local construction worker Marcos J.R.C, was arrested on the island accused of sexual abuse. He’s now being held in prison on remand.


Operation Ninette, the latest corruption investigation, Juan Escudero,Alfredo Blanco,Inmaculada Camacho

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Operation Ninette, this latest corruption investigation is being treated separately from the main Malaya case in Marbella.National Police continue with their investigations in Los Alcázares, after the swoop on the Town Hall on Wednesday,when six suspects were taken into custody: they include the former Socialist Mayor of the town, Juan Escudero. The investigation is in the hands of the money laundering and crime squad.

A further 14 people were questioned as suspects on Thursday, in the ongoing corruption investigation ordered by a court in San Javier 18 months ago into links Juan Antonio Roca has in Murcia. He is at the centre of the Malaya corruption case in Marbella, Málaga province, and was formerly municipal real estate assessor at Marbella Town Hall.
La Verdad newspaper gave the names of some of those questioned on Thursday as the town planning councillor, Alfredo Blanco, and also Inmaculada Camacho, the sister-in-law of Mariano Ayuso, who was formerly chief architect at Los Alcázares Town Hall and now has responsibility for overseeing public works. He was amongst those taken into custody on Wednesday. The paper said Camacho is also a second cousin of Juan Escudero.
The search of Town Hall offices went on for some six hours on Wednesday, together with property searches which included a teaching academy owned by the ex Mayor. His home was also searched, and it’s understood three top range cars and a Harley Davidson motorbike were confiscated by police.
The Murcia Socialist Party have now named a management committee for their branch in Los Alcázares following the arrest of Escudero, their local general secretary. PSRM-PSOE have expelled him from the party


Amy Fitzpatrick a passion motive ?

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La Opinion de Málaga reports that two main line of investigations are being followed in the case. Firstly that she left the area with someone she knew, or secondly, she is being held somewhere against her will.The Civil Guard is investigating what they describe a passion motive in the case of the disappearance of the missing 15 year old Irish girl, Amy Fitzpatrick, who vanished from Calahonda in Mijas Costa on the evening of New Year’s Day. This idea has apparently gained support following interviews of many of Amy’s friends carried out by the Guardia Civil.
Meanwhile a 34 year old British friend of the Fitzpatrick family has been arrested. Named in reports only by the initials R.B.O., he was being searched for in connection with two traffic offences which have no link to Amy’s disappearance. He spent last night in the prison in Alhaurín de la Torre after being arrested when he was called in for questioning as a friend of the family.


Mari Luz Cortes seen in the company of a woman on a bus

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The missing girl was seen in the company of a woman on a bus, hours after she went missing.
Senora Cortes said: "It's a credible lead for me because the woman gave a lot of facts about the clothes the girl was wearing."
"I think it could be my daughter."
Five-year-old Mari Luz Cortez vanished from Huelva, on the Spanish border just 120 miles away from the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, where Madeleine disappeared on May 3.
Family spokesman Clarence Mitchell told reporters there were similarities to the Madeleine case but it was too early to be definite. He said private investigators hired by the family are working with police as a matter of priority.
"Our investigators, Metodo 3 are working very closely with the Spanish police in the first instance, and with the family to establish whether there are any links or similarities," he said.
He added Kate and Gerry McCann were "... highly concerned to hear that another young girl has gone missing in the region. Their thoughts and prayers are with the Cortez family."
Both Kate and Gerry McCann have been named by Portuguese investigators as "arguidos", or official suspects, in the disappearance of their four-year-old daughter though neither has faced charges.
A spokesman for the family said: "It is normal that she would go to the shop alone. It is only round the corner."
"No child has ever gone missing here before. It is a family neighbourhood, where everyone knows everyone," he said.
"The family have lived here all their lives."


Mari Luz Cortes strong reactions and feelings as another child disappears from the Spanish Costas

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Over 100 Guardia Civil stopped traffic and questioned drivers in a frantic seach for another child on the Spanish Costas. The reaction was one of disbelief as the family and families demanded a strong response from the Huelva town hall. Gypsy families in Spain are large and have a strong prescense in many Costa Towns and can bring large crowds onto the streets. Not many years ago the police left the city of Granada when there was a dispute between two Spanish gypsy families. The parents of Madeleine McCann say they are "dismayed" at the disappearance of a five-year-old girl in southern Spain so close to the Portuguese border. Mari Luz Cortes vanished from Huelva, which became a focal point in the hunt for their four-year-old daughter.
It is less than two hours away from the Praia du Luz resort in Portugal where Madeleine went missing.
Writing on his blog, Gerry said: "Kate and I were dismayed to learn today that a five-year-old girl has been missing from Huelva, in Southern Spain since Sunday evening.
"As many of you know, Heulva is approximately a two hour drive from Praia da Luz and we went there in early August to publicise Madeleine's disappearance.


Another Child Disappears Mari luz Cortesa abducted

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police began searching for Mari luz Cortesa, five, a gypsy who was abducted in the Spanish border town of Huelva at about 10.40 on Sunday evening. It is only 120 miles from Praia da Luz. The Government delegate in Andaulcía, Juan José López Garzón, has said that all possibilities are being investigated in the disappearance of five year old Mari Luz, who vanished from the El Torrejón district of Huelva on the way home from the sweet kiosk last Sunday. He also said that information on the case has been passed on to the authorities in Portugal, and that a protocol of collaboration had been put in place.
Police support has been sent from Sevilla, with specialists from the homicide and other departments, taking the number of police and Civil Guard agents on the case to over 100.
A woman who claimed to have seen the child on a bus on Sunday, crying in the arms of an older woman is one of the leads the police say they are investigating.
Officers are investigating a travelling circus in the area at the time.


Mickey Missing Millions

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Mickey Green, 62, is said to have £10 million in cash buried in hills above Spain's Costa Del Sol.Greene is said to have fled back to Spain where he owned a villa. One accomplice says he had 1m cash in French francs in a box buried under the villa's flower-bed.The truth is probably somewhere in between these figures.Green during the 90s lead a spectacular life on Spains Costa del Sol with runners arriving from all parts of the world. One who new more than the others and had a history dating back to the early days of the wembley mob,who had been on the run in Las Vegas with him confined that Mickey in the 90s was heavily using his own product and could not remember the exact location of the money.They had travelled around in Mickeys new porsche sports car trying to locate the site but to no avail.What had seemed like a good idea at the time,the police had just injected Freddie Foreman and whisked him off to jail in the U.K, seemed in retrospect not such a wise decision.Green has always stayed one step ahead of the law, leaving behind speedboats, yachts, Rolls-Royces, a Porsche, a Ferrari, gold bullion, cash and cocaine in his haste to get away.So somewhere in those golden sierras lies a fortune just waiting to be found.
Mickey Green, a British national who lived in Ireland for a number of years and who lost his palatial properties there following a money laundering probe, is named as the second richest drugs smuggler in the world.His last home was Rod Stewarts old pad in Beverley Hills. estimates to his worth to be up to 280 million
Green is now thought to be living in England, having spent some time posing as a legitimate businessman before being unmasked by an informer. He went underground
Irish Police Chief Superintendent Felix McKenna, , described how Green quickly moved to save his antiques from seizure before members of his bureau were sent in to seize them.These antiques were collected in removal vans by a well known longfirm operator from Marbella who lived as a neibours not far from Mickeys villa. Although Green was able to clear the antiques from his houses, the Police was able to seize and sell off his properties.
Chief Supt McKenna claimed, as many before and after have, that Green has managed to evade jail time by, in part, corrupting officials, saying: “He was high into corrupting officialdom. That’s part of his forte all over the years when you read about him in police investigations.
Mickey Green, also known as the Pimpernel, a multi-millionaire criminal who has been on the run for more than 20 years and is believed to be one of the most senior figures in the British underworld. A successful armed robber during the Seventies when he ran a gang called the 'Wembley Mob', Green, now 60, moved into the drug trade after leaving prison in the early Eighties. He now owns bars and property in Wembley, West Hampstead, Dublin and Marbella. In the past he has had a string of detectives on his payroll and has had close connections with the notorious Adams family, the powerful London gangsters. He was named Europe's most wanted drugs baron and nicknamed 'the octopus' for the tentacles of his ever-expanding network.
But Green has always stayed one step ahead of the law, leaving behind speedboats, yachts, Rolls-Royces, a Porsche, a Ferrari, gold bullion, cash and cocaine in his haste to get away. He has worked out of Morocco, France and the US, where he consorted with the Mafia and flew in and out of Colombia before his arrest in Beverly Hills, where he was living in Rod Stewart's former house. FBI agents arrested Green as he lounged by the pool. He lived up to his nickname by escaping the charges.
More recently he was implicated in a £150m cocaine-smuggling ring based in Britain and was seized by Spanish police while staying at the Ritz in Barcelona. He spent months in custody before Customs decided to drop the charges. He is now free again and back in his Spanish villa on the south coast. His options for travel are, however, severely limited. He is wanted in France, where he was sentenced to 17 years in his absence, and Holland. He also faces arrest if he returns to Ireland, over allegations that he 'fixed' witnesses at an inquest.He has visited Britain within the past two years using forged passports. In October 1997 he flew to London to arrange the smuggling of a consignment of cannabis from Spain to London. He arrived from Spain with his young girlfriend, Anita, using a false passport in the name of Michael Durrant. They stayed at two top London hotels. On 23 October he held a secret meeting at the Intercontinental Hotel in Park Lane with the London distributors for his smuggled drugs.
Scotland Yard detective from an elite unit is under investigation after allegations that he was corrupted by Greene. The officer is said to have been paid thousands of pounds via an intermediary, in return for secret Customs intelligence reports.
Michael John Paul Greene was born in 1942 and is described by an old friend as "a good old fashioned London villain. He is your original gold medallion man with a taste for the booze and birds."
Greene began to make his mark publicly in 1972 when the first "supergrass", Bertie Smalls, named him as the leader of the Wembley Mob - then the country's most successful armed robbery team. It netted pounds 1.3m in four years. Greene was jailed for 18 years for his part in the 1970 robbery of a bank in Ilford, north-east London, that yielded pounds 237,000, a record at the time.
Greene was paroled after he served half his sentence and went straight back to his previous ways. He teamed up with his old Wembley Mob partner Ronnie Dark - known as Dark Ronnie in criminal circles - to develop a lucrative new scam. They were the first big villains to realise the potential of a gold krugerrand VAT fraud. They bought gold coins - which did not carry VAT - melted them into ingots and sold the gold back to the bullion house, this time collecting VAT. The gang is estimated to have made pounds 6m in a few months.
While some gang members were arrested and jailed, Greene fled to Spain. There he became a prominent figure on the "Costa del Crime" in the days before Britain had an extradition agreement with Spain.
He next appeared in the headlines in 1982 when he was accused of being involved in a kidnap gang that had tried to hold for ransom a wealthy British businessman in Spain. Again Greene escaped arrest.
He met Ronnie Knight, wanted at the time in connection with the 1983 Security Express robbery. Like a number of other London heavies who were "on their toes" (fugitives from the British police) Greene began building a drug empire using Spain as a staging post to run drugs into Europe from north Africa. In 1987 he was held after two tons of hashish was seized. He got bail and fled to Morocco, leaving behind 11 power boats and yachts used for drug-running.
Next the French police swooped on his Paris flat where they found gold bullion and cocaine but no Greene. He was later sentenced to 17 years in his absence.
Then in California, he rented Rod Stewart's mansion under an alias. FBI agents swooped as he lounged by the pool and arrested him. They put him on a flight bound for London. But Greene simply got off when the plane made a stopover at Shannon airport.
In 1994 he bought a home in Kilcock, 20 miles from Dublin, for pounds 200,000 from a building supplies merchant. But a year later Greene ran a red light at a busy junction in his Bentley and killed a taxi driver. He was prosecuted and banned from driving. When his background emerged after the accident, the IRA reportedly became interested in Greene. He took the hint and made himself scarce.
Irish law is much tougher than British law on seizing assets thought to be the proceeds of drug dealing. The Gardai have sequestered his Irish homes. The Kilcock house is now worth pounds 650,000 and he also owned a penthouse in Customs House Dock, Dublin, worth more than pounds 450,000.


The Dark Side Of Spain

16:06 El NACHO 0 Comments

The legal system in Spain has considerable differences from the British system, it is therefore imperative that independent legal advice is sought.
It is fair to say that the system is slow and inefficient and frequently in the headlines with stories of abuse and scandal. Judges and lawyers are often accused of taking advantage of their positions and using the system to suit there own personal desires. It is also fair to say that litigation in Spain can be expensive, frustrating and therefore if possible best avoided. Its been reported that as many as 160 legal actions are brought each week to the Spanish Courts that specifically involve property purchase issues, most of which it has to be said will take years to resolve. Throughout Spain the courts have backlogs of many thousands of pending cases many of which will take several years before they are heard. The system is literally jammed to capacity.
A couple of years ago in an attempt to reduce the massive backlog Spain introduced a new system which involved appointing judges from within their own profession. Junior lawyers we invited to become judges but the mediocre salaries which went with the job inevitably meant that those lawyers with successful practices continued in their law firms whilst the less successful, and arguably less competent became judges.
Finding a good lawyer is not easy and needless to say it’s better to find one who speaks reasonable English otherwise you will also need to employ a translator, which is not a very satisfactory arrangement.


Amy Fitzpatrick Spanish Police widen search to Ireland

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The Spanish police have requested the assistance of the Irish police in the search for missing teenager Amy Fitzpatrick.
The 15 year old has not been seen since she vanished from the resort town of Fuengirola in the south of Spain on New Year's day.
According to the Irish police, contact has been made through the force's liaison's personnel in Interpol's Madrid offices.
It is understood the Spanish police wish to know if any sightings are made of the Amy in Ireland.


El Socio right-hand man of Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante

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Orlando Sabogal, arrested and detained in Madrid . Known as El Socio, Sabogal is considered the right-hand man of Luis Hernando Gómez Bustamante – the chief of the Norte del Valle cartel, which moves 40 per cent of the cocaine consumed globally.
El Socio was in charge of collecting the money, which had been laundered through various Real Estate companies.
However, police are unsure through which companies the cartel channelled their illicit gains.
“Tracing money that has already passed through various companies and even tax havens back to drugs is an impossible task,” a police spokesman said.
Recent reports suggest Spain is in the middle of a cocaine epidemic, with the country having the greatest percentage of users in the world.
According to a United Nations study, 3 per cent of Spaniards between 15 and 64 years of age admitted to having taken cocaine within the past year.
Last year, 50,000 kilograms of cocaine – with an estimated street value of two billion US dollars – was confiscated by Spanish authorities.

This figure, however, only represents 7 per cent of the total amount of cocaine in circulation throughout Spain.