Ten people have been arrested following discovery of a drug trafficking network linking South America to Torrevieja via Portugal. The undercover operation was a joint one between the Guardia Civil and the National Police and it is believed that it was responsible for the distribution of a large amount of cocaine from Alicante to different provinces such as Madrid and the Canary Islands.
The ten people arrested have been detained in prison and will be up in court number 2 in Torrevieja accused of crimes against public health, money laundering, possession of illegal weapons and being members of a criminal organisation. Three more people are being investigated for the same crimes but have been released on bail.
In total, 14.4 kilos of cocaine was seized, 10.4 kilos of marijuana, 1.6 kilos of hashish and 50 grams of amphetamines. Police have also taken €610,380 in cash, nine high-end vehicles, a 9-mm gun with ammunition and different types of computer equipment. Altogether the haul is valued at €1,763,000.
The operation to uncover the ring began in September 2017 when a load of cocaine arrived in Portugal from South America in a catamaran. On investigation it was discovered that its destination wasn’t Portugal but Torrevieja from where a gang was operating transporting drugs along the coast to Andalucía, Madrid and the Canary Islands.
Because the gang were spread across a number of provinces, catching them required a consistent effort across different police forces. It was also discovered that the gang had a workshop in Almería where they were preparing vehicles to transport drugs and money. The gang had also created a number of businesses to launder the money created by drug sales. They had twenty-six million euros to bring back into the economy without looking suspicious.
The first detention took place in June when 11 kilos of cocaine was being transported in a car between Alicante and Andalucia. The car was driven by a 65 year old man from Orihuela and the cocaine was hidden in the false floor of the car. A few days afterwards another vehicle was intercepted in Huelva after returning from Las Palmas on Gran Canaria. A total of €528,000 in cash was hidden in carefully concealed pockets in the car.
These discoveries led to more arrests in Alicante, Almería and Córdoba. One of those detained is believed to be the leader of the ring who comes from Crevillent and is the owner of the workshop in Almeria where the vehicle modifications were taking place. Five searches were made including in Guardamar del Segura and more drugs, vehicles and even a machine for counting money were discovered.
A second phase of the operation began more recently and concluded with six detentions and investigations in Madrid and Cádiz. In total another 10 kilos of marijuana, 1.6 kilos of hashish, 200 grams of cocaine and 50 grams of methamphetamine were seized. Police also found a 9mm gun with ammunition, three fake guns and five high-end vehicles as well as a variety of computer equipment and mobile phones.
Officers from Spain’s National Police force shot a British man dead in Estepona, Málaga, last Monday evening. The man, who had a criminal record for drug trafficking and weapons possession, reportedly fired shots at the authorities as he was being detained.
The incident began on Monday morning, when a number of witnesses called the emergency services to report that an individual had been in a traffic accident near Puerto Banús, in Marbella. According to witnesses, the man involved was carrying a firearm when he emerged from the crashed vehicle. Rather than waiting for help, he fled the scene of the accident.
The local police managed to determine the identity of the suspect, leading them to a hotel in Estepona. When officers tried to detain the individual, he fired his weapon at them, prompting them to respond in kind. Emergency crews were called to the scene, but were unable to save the life of the British man.
The man was subsequently found to be in possession of two firearms and four magazines of bullets. Police sources did not confirm whether any officers had been injured in the shooting.
This incident marks the second shooting death in Estepona in less than a month. On 20th August, a 34-year-old Spanish man was killed by a hooded assailant, who later fled the scene on a bicycle. The shooting happened in the early hours of the morning, in a residential estate in the east of the municipality. The victim was about to enter his home when he was killed.
This is the third time that that the local police force in Torrevieja has been investigated for the possibility of bullying at work. This time the court number 1 in Elche has criticised the previous administration at the town hall for its involvement.
The bullying and harassment of a Local Police officer is thought to have been going on for years. Now, the victim has been awarded €95,816 in damages for psychological difficulties resulting from the continued behaviour of his colleagues.
The court accused the town hall of not intervening in the bullying at any time during its jurisdiction. It is claimed that councillors were aware of the situation due to the number of denuncias that had been made about it.
The police officer began working in 2010 and recognised that there were irregularities in the control of cash that was being collected from fines. He also realised that there were frequent inspections of some leisure facilities whilst others remained unchecked even though there were bad reports about them.
The police officer, along with two colleagues, reported the incidents and following this his persecution began. It included changing shifts without warning, being denied holidays, having to carry out numerous shifts without a break and word being spread to the traffic division that he should no longer drive.
The officer was denied extra pay, received humiliating correspondence and was subjected to degrading situations. He was insulted on almost a daily basis and in front of everyone but no one did anything. The investigating magistrate said that those complicit with the crime, including councillors and inspectors, tried to justify their approach but statements were contradictory to the evidence given by others.
The two police chiefs accused of this crime have already been convicted for workplace harassment twice before. In these cases compensation had to paid out of €48,500 and €23,450.
Two British men were left seriously injured after an attack in Torrevieja. The two men were stabbed during a fight which happened early Thursday morning. The fight took place in the San Luis/ El Chaparral urbanisation when the English confronted some individuals of Romanian nationality. The injured were taken to Torrevieja hospital for surgery.
It is believed that the origin of the dispute began at 1am in a bar on calle Rodrigo. For reasons unknown, a fight started and punches were thrown. Later the Romanians are believed to have returned to the area this time with knives.
During the attack two British men were stabbed, one of around 60 years old was stabbed in the back and in the thorax and the other of around 30 years old received a stab wound in the left armpit near his heart. The wounds led to the loss of a great amount of blood as could be seen in the street where the stabbing took place.
The incident was attended by the Local Police and the Guardia Civil as well as two SAMU units and an ambulance. The men were treated at the spot and then transferred to the hospital. News from the hospital confirmed that the men were operated on after being admitted into A & E. It is believed that they are now out of danger and are stable but will remain in hospital due to the severity of their injuries.
It is believed that one of the attackers lost his mobile during the incident and this has now been retrieved by the police who have been able to identify him. The man is now being sought by the Guardia Civil who are leading the investigation.
The trial of five police officers from Torrevieja has continued in Elche with further revelations. Now, recordings from phone calls made at the time, present new evidence to support the allegations of torture.
The alleged mistreatment of the two detainees happened in 2006. One of those arrested had two broken ribs when taken to the hospital to deal with injuries that the police claimed were sustained during a fall downstairs. The two detainees were a Spanish woman and a Colombian man who were caught after entering and robbing the property of a police officer.
The officers are accused of torture, making threats and harassment and the subsequent cover up of events afterwards. The length of time between the incident and it coming to court has created difficulties for the prosecution including that of locating the two criminals concerned.
According to one of the phone calls officers are heard saying: ‘I have a problem. There is a detained person here who robbed a police officer’s flat this morning and has been beaten and now when we take him to the doctor and to the court he will talk.’ The phone call continues; ‘Although he is a criminal, he has serious injuries.’
Those at the trial heard fragments of further telephone conversations that appeared to substantiate the accusations against the officers. The court had already heard how official video recordings of the two detained criminals had been erased. Further snippets of telephone conversations further suggest that these recordings had been deleted deliberately.
The trial continues and it is expected that sentence will be passed in the middle of September.
The house collapse that happened last Wednesday at 8am in Playa Flamenca has been the talk of the local community all week, and of course the main debate and point of speculation has been what caused the buildings to give way.
Fire-fighters rescued two British men, both believed to be in their 60s, from the partially collapsed houses but there could have been more trapped if it hadn’t of been for the quick thinking actions of a local ambulance man. According to eye witnesses, the medic was collecting a housebound patient when he heard the rumble, saw the cracks starting to appear and so ran into the street and in English shouted for everyone to ´get out´.
The incident happened in Calle Limon, urbanisation Laguna III, directly opposite the Citrus Centre. And although there were four houses directly affected, a row of 15 properties were evacuated by the emergency services before they cordoned off the area.
The incident was attended by Local Police and Guardia Civil who made one initial rescues prior to the arrival of fire-fighters from Torrevieja, Orihuela and Almoradí who were able to use a ladder to rescue a second man who was trapped upstairs. There was also a dog from the Elche canine unit which was briefly used to search for bodies. It is believed that at least eight of the houses are occupied.
Luckily the two people rescued from the rubble only had minor injuries and were transferred to the Torrevieja Hospital. One was in a state of shock and the other had bruising.
Also quickly on the scene was the Mayor of Orihuela accompanied by the Councillors for Citizen Security, Emergencies, Social Welfare, Infrastructure and Foreign Residents , as well as a team of municipal technicians who began investigating exactly what caused the collapse.
Some residents have said that they heard cracking noises in the houses on Tuesday and during the early hours of Wednesday morning, before the tragedy struck. According to witnesses, the ground opened up creating a sinkhole which swallowed up part of the property’s facade.
The first floor of one of the properties collapsed onto a wall and patio area bringing down with it a conservatory and other adjoining walls. Two adjoining houses were split in two, with one practically demolished, with serious material damage to two others. The others have large cracks in the structures so it is difficult to know when and if the owners will be able to return to their homes or if they will be demolished.
With no official report by the Municipal technicians, speculation on the cause of the collapse is rife. According to residents the urbanisation has problems with water filtration, with one explaining that the road is often wet and wondering if the communal pool had leaked into the foundations of the houses involved.
Another theory is that the collapse is the result of an illegal under-build in a neighbouring house. According to an article in Spanish regional daily newspaper Información it is believed that the collapse is due to the removal of a load bearing wall or excavating soil from the cellar, which compromised the foundations.
The unions of the Orihuela Local Police have announced that their officers are not going to
work any overtime or work the established hours to cover events until an agreement is
reached over a series of improvements they have been proposing for several years.
In a statement they warned they are also considering “more serious measures which for the
moment will not be applied”. The unions explained “we have been trying to negotiate with
the Town Hall for years but so far nothing has been resolved”.
Their demands are as follows: Restore the 10 vacant places and take on as many additional
officers as possible under the law to meet needs; Scrap the process to hire Mobility Officers
and use the money to create new Police Officers. Regarding part-time officers, they demand
equal pay on different scales, a regulation to cover second jobs, compliance with agreed
working conditions, a committee to negotiate, establishment of minimum hours.
Councillor Mariola Rocamora said the system for covering events (sport, culture, social and
fiestas) is vital to guarantee people’s safety and was agreed to by unions, allowing officers
to volunteer for six hour shifts during the year and be paid €207 for each one.
She indicated the law allows large towns to appoint council workers who are not police as
Mobility Agents to direct traffic.
The union reps met with Councillor Rafael Almagro on Friday as a first step towards starting
negotiations. Unions warn events may not be able to go ahead, particularly in villages
and Orihuela Costa
“Not working extra shifts will mean less officers are available each day and at weekends,”
explained SPPLB union rep Francisco Cánovas. “If there are not enough then activities will
have to be postponed unless somebody wants to take responsibility in case something
The police force currently has about 140 officers but the unions calculate more than 200 are
needed to cover the whole municipality.
They say the creation of Mobility Officers to direct traffic “makes no sense” because they
could not issue fines and so “would be like any citizen who can call us if they see a drunk
driver but cannot fine them”.
Another meeting has been scheduled for next week.
Some 1,000 police officers, firefighters and volunteers searched on Saturday for an eight-
year-old boy whose disappearance four days previously in Almeria has gripped the country.
Gabriel Cruz was at his grandmother's home in the small village of Las Hortichuelas when he
left to go play at a friend's house nearby last Tuesday afternoon. He has not been seen
His relatives alerted police who published a missing person's alert with a photo of the
smiling boy, which went viral in Spain via mobile messaging services and social media.
Since then, police and volunteers have been combing the countryside in the area on foot
and on horseback, using helicopters and drones to try and locate him. Interior Minister Juan
Ignacio Zoido said police were also searching waters off the coast nearby.
Cruz's parents have given several tearful interviews to Spanish media, saying he knew the
area well and could not have got lost.
“We hope we will get Gabriel back soon and that he will return home with his family, which
is where a boy who is only eight should be," his father Angel Cruz told reporters at a press
conference, before breaking down in tears.
In a twist on Friday, it emerged that a man had been detained this week for stalking
Gabriel's mother Patricia Ramirez, though authorities stressed he was not held in
connection with the disappearance of her son.
The man, named as Diego Miguel, had become "obsessed" with Ramirez and in 2016 was
ordered by a judge to stay away from her and given a three-month suspended jail sentence.
However, he broke this order several times, including in the hours when Gabriel
disappeared, and was detained for this reason authorities said. Police said they are
investigating the circumstances, but Angel Cruz stressed Saturday he believed the man had
nothing to do with his son's disappearance.
A child’s vest was found in the rural area near Níjar where Gabriel disappeared. His father
identified the item of clothing as being his son's, and on Monday the Guardia Civil carried
out DNA tests which confirmed that the garment was indeed Gabriel’s.
They say the report of the clothing Gabriel was wearing when he vanished – a red jacket
and black Adidas tracksuit bottoms – did not mention a vest, although as it is an
undergarment, it may have been forgotten.
The search has now become more 'selective', say inspectors, who have cordoned off the
area around the reservoir pools and water treatment plant in the Las Negras sewage
works close to the footpath which leads to the San Pedro bay.
This time, the search continued in the dark, and detectives were out all night trying to find
the little boy.
They are accompanied by the now-famous 12-year- old Belgian Shepherd Elton, one of the
Guardia Civil's 550 sniffer dogs, who was key in helping to find the body of Madrid sixth-
former Diana Quer on New Year's Eve in a disused warehouse in Galicia, where she had
been dumped after being raped and murdered 16 months earlier.
The Policia Local has announced that road works have begun to upgrade the Avenida del País
Valenciano in the centre of Guardamar del Segura. The thrre-month project will specifically
affect the area between Calle Ingeniero Mira and the Plaza Pescadores.
Vehicles heading south to reach Plaza Constitución now need to turn left onto Calle Ingeniero
Mira in order to get there and vehicles heading north must turn left when they reach Calle
Mediodía. Vehicles travelling down Calle San Eugenio will no longer be able to turn left
towards the Plaza Constitución.
The new Commander-in- Chief of the Guardia Civil in Torrevieja, Antonio José
Leal Bernabéu met the mayor of Torrevieja, José Manuel Dolón, in the town
hall on the 13 th September. The Commander leads around 200 officers and in
his new capacity the mayor discussed security issues for the town.
The meeting lasted for more than an hour and centred around the threat of
terrorism and what can be done to protect citizens. They also discussed the
relationship between the local police and the Guardia Civil and other
organisations such as the Civil Protection. Other topics under discussion
included environmental issues, animal protection and housing occupancy.
The mayor and the Commander agreed that they would maintain effective
communication and have regular meetings to ensure the smooth running of
the service. The mayor presented the Commander with a traditional salt boat.
Officers from the National Police have arrested two people in connection with an alleged
labour exploitation offence in an agricultural and livestock farm in Almoradí. One of the
detainees is an entrepreneur who had allegedly given instructions to employees – usually
foreigners in the country without papers – to hide in the manure heap on the farm to avoid
detection should any officials came calling.
The two are alleged to have committed a crime of documentary misrepresentation and crimes
against the rights of workers. Police were alerted to a potentially illegal situation at the farm
following a complaint lodged at police stations in Murcia, tipping officers off regarding a
series of irregularities within the small holding.
Officers from the National Police began a joint investigation and verified that at the farm
appeared to be committing irregularities in the level of labour it employed. In addition, the
company did not have the required safety equipment which is included in the regulations on
the Prevention of Occupational Risks. Owners were also leasing accommodation to the
workers, which were little more that ‘booths’ located inside the farm, some of them with
‘very little safety conditions or comforts’.
At the time of the police and labour inspection, two retired foreign nationals were also
According to the statements of those involved, it is believed that the employer allegedly used
to hire foreigners who were desperate for work as they had no official or legal paperwork. It
is said that the employer gave them strict instructions on how to act in case of a police
presence, such as hiding in the manure heap on the farm ‘to avoid detection’.
In addition, the farm manager is alleged to have made up an employment relationship with
another person in order for the pretend worker to obtain certain ‘administrative benefits’ for
foreigners through a false work contract. This falsehood was detected by the Office of
Foreigners in Murcia and notice was given to the Labour Inspection Unit of Alicante, which
annulled all fraudulent benefits of this alleged worker.
The investigators have arrested the employer and the person who simulated this non-existent
employment relationship and who was also in an irregular situation in Spain. Both, after
being heard in court have been released with charges.
– Part 2
Continuing with our interview taken from N332 RoadWatch magazine, we explain more of the
questions raised through erroneous posts on some websites, social media and, occasionally, in print.
3º. Drinking water whilst driving. 100€ fine.
The first thing you have to think is; how are you going to open the bottle? You usually need both
hands, right? If you have a passenger and they open the bottle for you or you have any type of bottle
where you don´t need to use both hands, providing that you do it carefully, you can use it, using just
one hand for a short period of time. Remember you need both hands to hold the steering wheel and
use the indicators.
When someone has been fined for this, it is because they were caught driving and trying to open the
bottle whilst driving, or driving with the bottle/can in one hand which it is strictly forbidden. No
police will fine you for taking a sip for a few seconds. Imagine on a long journey in the summer if you
would have to stop every time that the driver wanted to drink water… Please use common sense!
4º. Putting your hand, elbow or arm out of the window. 80€ fine.
If you put your arm or hand out of the car window whilst driving, how are you going to use the
indicators? If you have your elbow on the window whilst still handling the steering wheel, although
this is not best practice, it is not a problem as long as you can drive properly, indicating all
manoeuvres. This fine is applied for those drivers who have had their hands or arms out of the
window for several minutes of driving in that position, not for doing it for a few seconds. Remember,
drivers can also use hand signals, so this can also be confusing to other drivers.
5º. Driving with a hat / cap that covers the ears. 80€ fine.
As I said, we haven´t written the original post. Someone decided to play a joke, including many fines
which don´t exist among other legal ones. Using a cap/hat doesn´t affect the way you drive, this is
one of the weirdest questions I have answered during all my years as a traffic officer. How can
people believe that you can be fined for this?
6º. Eating ice cream whilst driving. 100€ fine.
Traffic Law states that you need both hands to drive so the difference with the water is that you
need to occupy your hands during a long period of time, so this is true.
7º. Driving with objects on the rear tray without them being secured. 200€ fine.
We have talked a lot, about how you must secure the load inside your car, so if you want to take
heavy load in the tray, unless you have separation from the occupants of the car, it is strictly
forbidden. In the event of a collision, or even harsh braking, lose objects become projectiles and can
Remember, only trust information from reputable or official sources, if you have any doubts about
traffic law you can speak to the Guardia Civil officers behind the Facebook page by sending them a
message, visit n332.es, or dgt.es, or consult with a solicitor or other official body.