Category: Crime

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 31 March – 2 April 2023


 A glorious first weekend of April ahead and the beginning of the christian Holy Week “Semana Santa”, diligently observed in Spain. There will be many religious acts and processions throughout the week around the island, especially in the capital.  Don’t forget it’s also April fools’ on Saturday even though it isn’t a tradition in Spain, there will be those who will take the whimsical opportunity for some hilarity. The Mercado Inglés is on at The British Club of Las Palmas and there is also an authentic Canarian rural fair to visit this weekend in the traditional mountain market town of San Mateo.

Gran Canaria Weather: Yellow Warnings – Up to 36ºC, in the shade, expected on the south, high temperatures with strong winds and calima expected to affect all The Canary Islands this week

The Spanish State Meterological Agency, AEMET, has issued yellow warnings for heat, calima haze and strong winds this week on the Canary Islands forecasting high temperatures of up to 34ºC expected on several islands. An alert has been issued due to a risk of forest fires on Gran Canaria as the mix of dry weather, strong winds and high temperatures has led to concerns over coming days.


Wild fires Alert on Gran Canaria this Wednesday, with temperatures set to exceed 34ºC in the shade

Springtime has only just begun and already the temperatures, in the shade, on Gran Canaria have been repeatedly hitting the low to mid-thirties, which brings with it also a rising risk of Forest Fires and Wildfires.  Here in the Canary Islands forest fire crews are well versed in tackling an occasional mountain blaze, with alert levels often following the basic informal rule of thumb, the so-called 30/30/30 rule, putting the authorities on alert whenever the temperature is set to rise above 30ºC in the shade, the humidity levels drop below 30% and sustained winds are forecast at faster than 30kmph.  Common sense and preparation help the general population to avoid injury in the event of a fire taking hold.

The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 24-26 March 2023

Plum tree blossoming in Tenteniguada March 2023
It’s the last weekend of March already and Spring is here; winter is behind us and the summer weather is already hotting up on Gran Canaria. The hillsides are in full bloom, particularly up in the mountain summits; it’s Carnival Weekend in Arguineguín and the last of the carnival festivities for this year are happening around the island. With summer just around the corner, clocks Spring forward this Saturday and Sunday night when 1am becomes 2am 🕐. On the north of the island, one of the biggest seasonal trade fairs is happening, gathering produce and people from 11 municipalities, ENORTE will be celebrated in the historic Rum capital of the island, Arucas, this weekend.


La Alcaldesa, the mayoress of Mogán, investigations continue before the courts, after trying to block Guardia Civil from looking at municipal files

La Alcaldesa, O. Bueno, was called on Thursday, before the judge, to defend why she ordered her IT manager to stop Guardia Civil access to town hall computers after her arrest, not for the first time, back in September 2020.  The case is just one of the several derived from the latest round of allegations, which came to light after the 2015 local elections, accusing her and her people of dodgy dealing and electoral fraud, having been accused of orchestrating a vote buying plot with a local business man who materially benefitted from the relationship, both financially and in terms of municipal service contracts. The the original case had to be shelved, as the investigation ran out of time to bring charges under Spain’s statutes of limitations, in essence a technicality, but several other investigations have continued through the courts.

Blood & Gold: The ‘Discoverer’ and the brutality of conquest

Many in Spain celebrate the national day, October 12, as a day for all Spaniards to revel in Spanishness, and remember an empire, replete with displays of military might, with marches and the waving of flags coloured blood and gold.
For many, it is not a day of celebration but a time worth spent remembering countless millions whose lives were so irrevocably affected after the arrival of one lost adventurer, who managed to find a small Bahamian island,  an ocean away from the newly united kingdoms of Spain, and their, just previously acquired, first colonial conquests. 

Newsbrief: 30 kg of hashish found floating by the beach in Arguineguín

Agents of the Mogán Local Police seized a 30-kilo bundle of hashish last week, on the night of June 19, that appeared floating near the Costa Alegre beach, in Arguineguín, Mogán.

After being alerted by residents in the area, after 21:15, two agents from the Mogán Local Police dragged the bundle to shore, helped by two young men.
Once transferred to the local police station, they proceeded to verify the contents, in this case 30 packages of hashish each weighing one kilo apiece. After preparing the corresponding police report, the intercepted drugs were handed over to the Guardia Civil for further investigation.

A fishing boat loaded with three tons of cocaine intercepted south of the Canary Islands

Officials from the Spanish Tax Agency’s Customs Surveillance Service, working as part of a joint operation with agents from the Policia Nacional and Guardia Civil, in waters south of the Canary Islands, last week, intercepted a fishing boat loaded with more than 2,900 kilos of cocaine hidden in one of its fuel tanks, arresting all five crew members. Operation ‘Capirote-Piteas-Acerico‘, led to the boarding of the 20-meter-long fishing vessel, named ‘AKT 1’, on the afternoon of April 13, some 300 nautical miles south of the Canary Islands archipelago, transferring to to the Port of Las Palmas on 16th of April. The operation was directed and coordinated by the National High Court Anti-Drugs Prosecutions Office.
The result of international collaboration, including exchange of information between the MAOC-N (Center for Analysis and Atlantic operations) and CITCO (Intelligence Center Against Terrorism and Organised Crime) led investigators from the Customs Surveillance Service, the National Police and the Civil Guard to determine the possible involvement of a vessel suspected of illicit drug trafficking from South America.

Spanish Customs seize "African Route" drugs transport
Spanish customs officers (aduanas) seize 3 tons of suspected drugs from vessel pretending to be fishing the "African Route", and taken, via Arguineguín, to Puerto de las Palmas de Gran Canaria
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Posted by The Canary News on Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Hidden along the route of the Sub-Saharan fishing grounds
An air and seaborne operation, established by the Tax Agency’s Deputy Directorate of Customs Surveillance resulted in the locating and boarding of the fishing boat by the ‘Cóndor’ patrol boat, which was heading north, camouflaged among the usual fishing boats that navigate close to the sub-Saharan fishing grounds. At the time of boarding the fishing boat was discovered to be transporting a significant number of bundles of the type usually used for cocaine trafficking, so the five crew members, four of Turkish nationality and one Georgian citizen, were immediately arrested.
Complex boarding and navigation conditions
The navigation and boarding conditions were very complicated, due to bad sea conditions, with sustained strong northerly winds topping 40 knots and gusts of up to 60. Despite these difficulties, the fast performance of the ‘Cóndor ‘ and its crew prevented any possible transshipment of the narcotics to other vessels, which would have compromised the detection of the illicit cargo.
During the subsequent transfer to port it was necessary to alert the Salvamento Maritimo (Maritime Rescue) due to concerns of a machine failure on the fishing boat, which was described as ‘substandard’ (meaning that it does not meet basic international safety and navigation standards) due to the engine being in very poor condition, to the point that it was feared a fire could break out on board, leading to the necessity for a technical stop at the southern most port of Arguineguín (Gran Canaria) to check the status of the vessel before finally heading up to Las Palmas, on the north of the island.

Operation ‘Capirote’ is the first arrest to be carried out by the patrol boat ‘Cóndor’ hardly a month since it was commissioned in the Canary Islands. This modern, fast,  43 meter patrol boat with a crew of 14, was assigned to the Canary Islands Customs Surveillance unit on March 15 to reinforce strategic operations in tackling drug trafficking in the Atlantic, and key entry points such as the Canary Islands archipelago.
The detainees, the boat, the drugs and the police proceedings will all be placed at the disposal of the Central Court of Investigation, acting under the auspices of the National High Court, the first proceedings to have been carried out in this manner by the Courts of Instruction in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria.
This operation results from efforts by the Spanish Customs Agency (Aduanas) and State Security Forces working with various official bodies in the prevention of drug trafficking along what is known as the ‘African Route’, known for being used by fishing vessels that receive narcotic substances in the middle of the Atlantic for their subsequent introduction onto the European continent, using the African coastal route to go unnoticed among the incessant fishing traffic throughout the area


Mogán Policia Local track down and arrest two pickpockets in Puerto Rico

Mogán Policia Local say they stopped and arrested two pickpockets last week, after a day of surveillance, having received reports from Playa de Mogán, and subsequently a tourist whose belongings had been allegedly stolen in a pool bar, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, the tourist resort town where they were eventually intercepted.

Puerto de Mogán control tower operators reported to the Policia Local the identity of two men suspected of being pickpockets. Hours later, an agent reported a possible pickpocketing, at the main Global bus stop, which he managed to photograph. The identity match was confirmed by the person in charge of the station, who was also able to confirm that the two men had left the scene in a vehicle.
Minutes later, Policia Local received a call from a bar near the beach in Puerto Rico, reporting the theft of a wallet from one of their clients, who had been enjoying the day with his family. His belongings included £300, bank cards and a driving license.
At about the same time, Guardia Civil intercepted the car carrying the suspected pickpockets, on Avenida Tomas Roca Bosch and requested the presence of Policia Local officers to carry out alcohol and drug detection tests. There the victim of the crime recognised the alleged perpetrator in the passenger seat of the stopped vehicle, who was arrested after an inspection of the vehicle uncovered the stolen belongings, which could be immediately returned to their owner.
Policia Local required the driver’s driving license, but he stated that he did not have one and only provided an illegible document where his driving license number was supposed to appear. He was also asked to do alcohol and drug tests, which he repeatedly refused.
Faced with this situation, a crime against road safety, the driver delivered an identity card from his country of origin but did not prove a place of residence on the island, essential to guarantee his location when his presence before the judicial authority is necessary, and therefore, he too was arrested.


Newsbrief: Guardia Civil recover objects stolen from Mogan Mall with market value of €4870

The Guardia Civil of the Main Post in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, in collaboration with the Policia Local of Santa Lucía, arrested three people between the ages of 26 and 33, with numerous prior police records, for thefts committed in commercial establishments.

The investigation began on January 30, when Mogán Mall shopping centre security team alerted the Puerto Rico Guardia Civil Post of the occurrence of a criminal act in a well-known commercial establishment and that the perpetrators were travelling in a vehicle with specific characteristics.
For all these reasons, a notice was given to the police units in service for the location and interception of said vehicle and its perpetrators, obtaining a positive result when agents of the Policia Local of Santa Lucía, during the execution of a static control device, they observed how said vehicle carried out an evasive manoeuvre to avoid police action, having been intercepted during the course of its flight.
Several valuables were found in the vehicle, some even with the anti-theft devices still installed, as well as previously prepared effects and tools that allowed the alarm and security systems of commercial establishments to be eluded.
The immediate coordination between both forces allowed the arrest of the three individuals, in addition to the recovery of effects with a market value of about €4,870.


Police dismantle prolifically active cocaine organisation on Gran Canaria

Guardia Civil and Policia Nacional, regarding Operation JEZABEL-DOOLITTLE, consider dismantled one of the most active criminal groups on the Island of Gran Canaria, specialised in the introduction and subsequent distribution of large quantities of cocaine on the island.

After several phases of investigation, the operation has resulted in the arrest of 8 people, 7 of them of Spanish nationality and another Bulgarian, having managed to seize a total of 17 kilograms of cocaine and 13 litres of procaine, a precursor used for the adulteration of narcotics. Investigators had become aware of a criminal group based in the Canary archipelago, possibly planning the introduction of significant amount of cocaine, specifically on the island of Gran Canaria.
Modus Operandi
Agents were able to find out that this group had several vehicles prepared with “caches”, spaces created inside, to hide drugs and money, as well as buildings in which to store the narcotic substance prior to its distribution.It was also possible to corroborate the existence of a group of people, paid by the criminal organisation, who acted as “mules” moving the money obtained from the sale of the drug off the island.
Subsequently, it was also possible to detect the route of entry of the precursors, substances used for the adulteration of cocaine in this case, specifically procaine, a drug that blocks nerve conduction and acts as a powerful local anaesthetic, seizing a total of 13 litres of the substance at Gran Canaria airport.
More than a million euros was seized and 17 kg of cocaine
In a final phase of the operation, it was possible to identify the leader of this organisation and all the members who actively participated in the events under investigation, both in the introduction and in the distribution and laundering of money. It should be noted that throughout the investigation €1,000,000 in banknotes of different denominations have been seized, the majority carried by the aforementioned “mules”.


Guardia Civil arrests two men for animal abuse and abandonment in Santa Lucía de Tirajana

The Guardia Civil’s Seprona Patrol (Environment and Animal welfare) from the Vecindario Post, between January 08 and 14,  arrested a 26-year-old man and another 50-year-old man, as the alleged perpetrators of a crime of animal abuse and abandonment. The events occurred after several residents of Santa Lucía de Tirajana provided the Guardia Civil videos and photographs of the unfortunate state the animals were being kept in, suspecting a possible case of mistreatment or omission of the necessary care for their subsistence.

A uniformed SEPRONA patrol moved to the place, indicated by the local residents, and found twelve dogs, most of them hunting dogs.
The habitats where the animals were found were in a state that was incompatible with life, due to a lack of hygiene and, furthermore, the dogs were in a state of extreme malnourishment with obvious infestations by different parasites and many had unhealed wounds.
One of the dogs was missing half a leg and the wound was still unhealed due to lack of veterinary care.
Of the twelve animals, 4 lacked the requisite identification or documentation for their possession, for which Seprona initiated several administrative files, including lack of vaccination, lacking town hall registrations in the census and lack of a zoocan identifications.
It should be noted that, during the inspection carried out by the Guardia Civil, several interested people approached, requesting to be able to express their objections to the treatment that these animals. Subsequently, 9 people filed official  complaints, arguing that the facts had already been exposed to other institutions outside the Guardia Civil, not only because of the state of the animals but because they did not stop barking all day.
The Guardia Civil communicated with those responsible for Santa Lucía Town Council, requesting they collect the animals, also requesting the presence of a veterinary doctor to come to the scene, for an in-situ assessment of the state of the animals and their kennels before seizing the animals. Once an examination of each animal was carried out, they were handed over to the municipal services of the Santa Lucía de Tirajana Town Council, remaining in custody at the Council’s facilities until a resolution or judicial pronouncement can be made in this regard.
During the inspection, SEPRONA detected two buildings in the area where the animals were located that were built illegally on protected rustic land, also carrying out the appropriate steps in terms of urban planning for a crime Against Territorial Planning.
Proceedings and detainees were handed over to the Duty Court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana.



The Canary Guide

Curated news stories for English speakers who #LoveGranCanaria

The Canary News, Views & Sunshine - Est. 2009

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