Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
Illegal Trafficking: President of Gran Canaria “Animal Welfare” Association Investigated for Falsifying Export Certificates and Suspected Mistreatment of Animals
Mar, 2023 |
A rogue individual, living on Gran Canaria and operating an unlicensed and unregistered facility supposedly dedicated to animal welfare, has been referred by the Guardia Civil to the Canarian justice system for illegal trafficking and documentary falsification of certificates required for the safe transport of animals into the UK. The operation, she has run for nearly a decade, is suspected of collecting around a quarter of a million euros for this activity in just one 18 month period, keeping large numbers of unregistered animals in inadequate conditions, and illegally transporting animals from the island, without proper zoosanitary checks, across Europe by air, sea and land, destined for recipients in the United Kingdom.
Between January 2021 and October 2022, the investigated Association irregularly exported 482 dogs to the United Kingdom
The president of the Association falsified export certificates and presented them to the UK authorities.
Leaked documents raise further concerns about welfare in proposed Las Palmas octopus farm that would be first of its kind in the world
Mar, 2023 |
The proposal by Spanish multinational Nueva Pescanova to create the world’s first commercial octopus farm on Gran Canaria has generated a great deal of controversy. The company aims to produce one million octopuses a year for consumption worldwide, three times the number currently caught in the wild by Spanish fisheries. However, the project has been condemned by many scientists who regard the proposed method of killing the octopuses as “cruel”. Confidential documents obtained by the BBC reveal that the creatures would be killed using water as cold as -3°C, which many experts believe would result in a slow and stressful death.
Three Men Detained, without bail, for An Alleged Gang Rape, in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Hotel
Mar, 2023 |
Three men were arrested and charged with sexual assault after having allegedly gang-raped a young woman in a hotel, in the Santa Catalina area of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria on Thursday, March 16, 2023. The woman, who is 21 years old, reported the incident at the hotel’s reception, claiming that she had been raped by the men and could not remember anything after accepting a drink from them.
The Canary Islands: Influx of Foreign Property Buyers Risks Pushing Locals Out
Mar, 2023 |
Many have been discussing the possibility of restricting property sales in the Canary Islands to foreign buyers, as property prices and a lack of new builds has become a major issue, and particularly in the political debate ahead of the regional elections this May.
Gáldar pioneering in animal welfare with a new centre
Mar, 2023 |
The project to build the Centre for Temporary Stay of Animals (CETA) El Sobradillo broke ground this week with the laying of the first stone in an act which included the citizens of Gáldar with dozens of animals of all kinds of conditions and breeds. This pioneering project will allow Gáldar, on the north coast of Gran Canaria, to dedicate a space that will guarantee the protection of domestic and farm animals, and which will make it the only municipality in Gran Canaria to have facilities with these characteristics to fully comply with European regulations. The centre is to be located on a plot of 3,190 square meters, which will allow it to comply with good hygienic-sanitary conditions and be adequate for the needs of the animals that it will accommodate.
More than half of all Canary Islands properties sold last year were bought by foreigners, more than half of those non-residents
While we still await final figures for the last quarter of 2022, the latest official data from The Canary Islands has shown foreigners are buying more homes in the Canary Islands than ever before. The number of real estate acquisitions by non-residents in the Canary Islands has risen 52% compared to the same period in 2021, and is already 16% higher than the highest ever record set in 2017.
Shifting Sandcastles in the Sky: Spanish Supreme Court upholds the cancellation of the Tauro Beach coastal territorial plan on Gran Canaria
Apr, 2021 | Business, Cabildo, History, investigation, Local Council, Mogán, News, Property, Tourism
A little-known beach on the south west of Gran Canaria has been making big waves, again, following more than 30 years of talk, 20 years of hype, 16 years of planning procedures and 6 years of controversy in the hands of the recently bankrupted Grupo Santana Cazorla. It appears the long awaited Tauro Beach project has finally been cancelled, after years of intrigue, investigations, recriminations and shifting sands. Well, cancelled for now, at least.
Reporting: Edward Timon .:. – Main Image: Bård Ove Myhr – 45photos.com
A correction was made to this article on April 6, as detailed at the end
The Special Territorial Plan of the Litoral de Tauro (PTE-29) was finally approved back in 2014, by the Cabildo de Gran Canaria, 8 years after being initially put forward to regulate a long-touted tourism development, including a new artificial beach project, that had been promoted by a timeshare company, the Anfi Group, as early as 2001. The beach development was to be complemented by a 322-berth sports marina and a new shopping and leisure area, as well as up to 7,500 tourist beds in the Tauro valley, expected to rejuvenate and improve the tourism offering on the Costa Mogán, bringing prestige, jobs and new riches to the popular tourist destination.
The beaming CEO of Grupo Anfi, José Luis Trujillo, said, after many years of waiting, regulatory reformulations and bureaucratic pitfalls, and having won the contest against Puerto Rico SA for the concessions to run the businesses on this new beach, “Anfi’s dream continues with the construction of a beach that will be a benchmark for leisure on Gran Canaria” pointing out that the beginnings of this planning project had first been put forward back in November of 1987.
– Tauro Beach and Amadores in the now defunct plan
– David Silva, Trujillo and Bueno shovel sand on Tauro Beach July 2015
This helpful distraction diverted much attention from the Anfi Group’s recent change of fortunes, in January 2015 following a supreme court ruling, the first of many, against Anfi, among others, on mis-sold timeshare. The judgement opened the company up to huge numbers of potential claims for selling illegal contracts valued, by some insiders, in the tens of millions or possibly more. In the time since Anfi’s financial liabilities have grown and grown, simply due to being judged to have wilfully and repeatedly ignored the rules and the law. It attracted the attention of other more political animals in the area.
There were lots of reasons for caution, particularly after such a long journey to achieve administrative consent for such a big project. None of this, however, stopped Mogán’s mayor, Bueno, newly elected just over a month before, from immediately getting in on the action, heralding the project as good for Mogán “a beach that will serve to attract more tourists to the municipality” wasting no time in joining the July 2015 photo-opportunity to shovel sand, alongside local-born international football star David Silva, finally breaking ground on the development, and giving the project her new administration’s seal of approval. Fences were erected and heavy machinery brought in to start work in early 2016.
– Tauro Beach as heavy machinery moved in before the sand arrived in 2016
Sandcastles in the sky
More than 50 legal objections had been made to the plans, from various quarters, claiming a total lack of consultation, inadequate permissions from property owners, deficient environmental impact studies and a raft of other complaints, including allegations from almost all of the local residents who would be directly affected, many of whom have lived on the shoreline of the Tauro bay for decades.
The final go-ahead to begin came from the Canary Islands head of Costas (regional coastal authority), José María Hernández de León, himself; and 70,000 tons of desert sand was hurriedly extracted, illegally, from the nearby disputed territory of Western Sahara then dumped on to what had been up to that point a pebble beach. The project, now underway, it was announced with much publicity, would be finished by Christmas 2016 at a cost of €2.5m. The Mogán mayoress told journalists that the residents of Tauro beach would have to leave.
– The tide takes the sands from Tauro Beach
No sooner had work begun, however, than cracks appeared in the execution of this long awaited flagship project. Local mariners, who understand the tides on that coastline, were dubious about how long the sands would last. For the first time in living memory, the sea flooded in over the freshly landscaped beach to inundate the homes of residents, most of whom could ill afford such a disastrous occurrence, and some of whom felt intimidated by the sudden failure of the shoreline. The project was halted pending further engineering studies and environmental reports. The Green Party claimed irrevocable damage to a protected habitat. The Canary Islands head of the Costas was removed from his post and then arrested by the Guardia Civil, charged with falsification of documents, and having lied about failures in his duty, when it was discovered he had failed to verify the required property rights prior to ordering the project to proceed.
– Tauro Beach and ignored barriers
In frustration, locals tore holes in the fences so as to be able to access the now modified shoreline. Court action was initiated to remove Anfi’s permissions and concessions, while they scrambled to try to gain the missing property permissions to continue the development. Mogán town hall refused to police the coastal strip of land, or remove bathers from the beach, making clear that it was Anfi’s responsibility now, as was the destruction of their fences by members of the public trying to reach the sea.
13 shacks, which several people had made their homes, were questionably and brutally torn down by the infamous Catalan evictions company, thought to be neoconservative leaning (though who say they are a-political), whose skin-headed, musclebound “businessmen” claim to be “experts in mediation”, using a gang of thugs and a JCB, about which Mogan town hall claimed, despite having had to give permission for such action, no real knowledge, as they weren’t present, mayoress Bueno declaring that the Town Council “has nothing to do with this matter.”
The list goes on and on. These and many more reasons for caution when dealing with institutions and entities who display little observance of State planning laws, or ordinary people’s fundamental rights. People for whom power and money and nepotism, and even suspected fraud and corruption on a grand scale, consistently seem to trump any considerations for the everyday norms that are in place to regulate business and urban developments and to protect individuals from being harmed by large corporate and political interests.
Editors Comment: Shifting Sands
– Bueno inspects Tauro Beach
As the situation, and the confusion, has worsened for the Tauro project, so our good lady mayor and her administration have announced that they will be taking over this newly sandy beach at the mouth of the Tauro valley. Similarly they have refused to renew the long-standing concessions for the Puerto Rico beach and for Amadores beach, claiming administration of these facilities as revenue generating assets for the town hall of Mogan.
If one were to have a suspicious mind, one might suspect some sort of subterfuge in this latest blow to the private investment projects of Mogan. But of course that would be cynical. Surely it will only be the good people of Mogan who will, in the end, profit from these shifting sands. Right?
Back to the drawing board
For now, though, it seems that all is quiet again on the pristine sands of Tauro beach. The territorial plan, PTE-29, providing the framework for the project was declared null and void in March 2019. And news has come this first weekend in April that the Spanish Supreme Court will not allow any of the appeals presented by the Cabildo and the Government of the Canary Islands against the sentence handed down by the Superior Court of Justice for the Canary Islands (TSJC) due to non-compliance with Coastal Law, specifically due to the absence of a mandatory and binding report from that Coastal Authorities which would have been needed before it had gained final approved in 2014.
The order not only concludes that “the remedies prepared have no interest in cassation”, that is to say that the substance of the appeals contain no new evidence that might lead the Supreme court to either reconsider the verdict, nor re-interpret the existing tenets of applicable law, but also orders the appellants (those filing the appeals) to pay the costs, as they had alleged in their appeals that the breach of the Coastal Law (Spain’s Ley de Costas regulating protection, use and policy of the maritime-terrestrial public domain, in particular the maritime shore) had not been expressly raised by the company that had originally appealed approval of the Plan, Puerto Rico SA.
The 2014 territorial coastal plan for Tauro, in Mogán, which was annulled by the TSJC in March 2019, had authorised the construction of a marina with 322 moorings, the regeneration of the beaches at Tauro and El Cura and the creation of a promenade along that strip of shoreline that would be paid for with a private investment estimated to be in excess of €31 million. The marina planned in Tauro, was initially to be built between that beach and the El Cura beach (Playa del Cura), but the plan had, in the end, changed the position of the marina to the other side of Playa de Tauro, against the cliff that separates it from Amadores beach. The Plan, now void, also contemplated the implementation of a hammock and umbrella service on both beaches and the creation of a promenade that would link these two beaches with Amadores.
Bankruptcy of Santana Cazorla
Meanwhile, in recent weeks, in a separate court judgment investigating the business dealings of the Hermanos Santana Cazorla SL (HSC) the company has been pronounced completely bankrupt. After years of ducking and diving, wrangling and wriggling, the courts have concluded that this well-known island construction, development, promotion and investment company cannot possibly service their debts, due to a negative operating capital exceeding €72m.
Last week the family-run company whose portfolio of investments and subsidiaries stretched across many business areas from Hotels, to a multi-award-winning winery, various construction companies, and numerous other interests across Gran Canaria, these islands and elsewhere, has seemingly been put out of business. However we are told that the woes of HSC do not affect the entire Santana Cazorla Group, which is diverse.
**On March 31 Anfi CEO, Jose Luis Trujillo, sent a letter to all of their timeshare “owners” and clients, known now as “members” to explain that HSC SL are not the specific company who own 50% of Anfi resorts (the other half owned by rivals Lopesan Hotels) but in fact this major share of the timeshare group, with a “golden vote”, is owned by a completely separate company who, the letter says, is not a subsidiary of HSC and therefore is totally unconnected to the dealings with Anfi.
Specifically, the judge suspended the companies 959 Oliva Inversión Internacional SL; 947 MSC Inversión Internacional SL; Santana Cazorla Servicios SL, and Bodegas Tirajana SL.
HSC was operated by the Santana Cazorla brothers, whose children, and other family members, do involve themselves in various aspects of the group of companies, whose interests spread far and wide across the islands. Although Santana Cazorla were the developers who provided machinery and workers for the transformation of the now defunct Anfi Tauro Beach, Trujillo makes clear in his letter that HSC’s bankruptcy is unlikely to have any serious repercussions for Anfi, themselves.
And we have no reason to doubt him.
Altogether this looks like the end of the road for the Tauro Beach project, for now at least, with several years likely to elapse before anyone tries a further plan on this scale. But in a municipality like Mogán, where huge urban projects are sometimes green lighted, seemingly without warning, or consultation, it really is anyone’s guess as to what might just happen next.
What is clear is that citizens of Spain have a constitutional right to access all coasts, which are in the public domain. One important question will now start to be asked in earnest, particularly by the residents of Playa de Tauro, and that is when will the fences be removed again, and when will the people of Mogán regain their right to access their beach once more?
The founders of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria & Tourism in Mogán
Puerto Rico SA have been operating for more than 50 years on the south of the island, under the auspices of the Roca family, who literally founded Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria in 1968, having purchased the entire valley two years earlier, for the meagre sum of 30m pesetas. The Barranco de Puerto Rico was part of a huge estate farm, some estimate 8 million m2, stretching 12km inland and another 2km to the west), and on the cliffs either side of the valley was constructed the tourist resort town we know today. The resort peaked at 20,000 tourist beds, however a large number of those apartments were subsequently sold to private buyers who chose to live in them, able to take advantage of a town hall who seemed happy to turn a blind eye to the existing laws around residential use of tourist property, the land it is built on and the licenses under which it operates. The current mayor expressed her displeasure, in 2015, at tourist beds not being used for tourism, however after a long controversy, the Canary Islands Government stepped in to regularise those who had bought in good faith, while making clear new procedures for change of use in the future.
The four Roca brothers, who had done very well out of construction in the early 60s tourism boom in Maspalomas, and whose father was a well known realtor, started work on Puerto Rico in 1966. By 1972 they were constructing the very first artificial beach in Spain, which in turn kick started tourism in the area.
Mogán prior to that was an agricultural zone, peopled by simple folk, with dirt roads and a small fishing fleet. They say the town hall still had an earthen floor. Any visitors who came, headed to Playa de Mogán, and due to their free loving, smoke hazed ways, were known as Los Hippies. The Roca clan and their descendants did so well from the concessions to operate tourism infrastructure, and from urbanising the Puerto Rico valley, selling plots for tourism development, and promoting the building of “Shopping Center Puerto Rico”, that in 1986 they were able to construct Gran Canaria’s second artificial beach at Amadores. Those whose families had always held power in the area must have looked on with green eyes at these incoming businessmen with fresh ideas and the ability to attract capital. They welcomed them with open arms, and Mogán propspered.
The town hall’s recent decisions to refuse support for their concession renewal applications, may feel like a slap in the face after so long, but running tourist beaches is big business round these parts, with a lot of potential benefits, and this administration has never been backwards about going forwards when it comes to grabbing revenues and awarding contracts to businesses they take a shine to. Will Puerto Rico SA recover, yes, most certainly. Will they try again, for sure, they have lasted longer than most operators on the coast of Gran Canaria’s wild south west, and certainly they are tenacious enough to take on the dynastic political families who tend, by hook or by crook, to gain control of this local council.
Even with the best will in the world, even mayors are somewhat limited to the 4-yearly electoral cycle. Somewhat. Let’s see if we don’t find a Roca on the ballot in 2023… or perhaps sufficient divisions will remain to keep the same old faces on the same old lamp posts and billboards, serving up more of the same for a fist full of dollars and few years more.
The mayor, Bueno, has kept a very low profile in recent days, having spent months trying to distract the world with her “humanitarian efforts” to remove irregular migrants from the Port of Arguineguin, she moved on to marching through the streets with anti-immigration protesters.
Subsequently she has made loud, if meaningless, noises regarding her opposition empty hotels temporarily accommodating migrants, reading well the rightist rhetoric, stirred initially by fishermen afraid of Covid infections, then others with time on their hands, to join the cries to “Save Tourism” by moving these people out of her municipality, she has even tried to fine those hoteliers who aided the humanitarian effort, while detention camps were being constructed into which to move the migrants.
Now that all but a handful of migrants remain in Mogán, along with a couple of hundred unaccompanied minors, accommodated in the municipality’s (still empty) hotels, and while a further influx (of either visitors or migrants) is awaited, presumably tourism has now been saved. Bueno will no doubt return to other more pressing matters, such as jetting off to meet with her Madrid legal team, to prepare a defence for her upcoming court appearances to answer many niggling doubts that have arisen about her administration’s management of municipal affairs, and indeed how it was they came to office in the first place.
Various concerning questions have certainly emerged, both before and during her tenure in the town hall, regarding the methods with which she and her party serve the good people of Mogán.
Not least of all the fact that she has been under investigation for many years, this time round since at least 2015, over very serious allegations of fraud, nepotism, irregularly awarded contracts, urban planning concerns and various alleged electoral irregularities.
She faces trial, likely this year, following a very public arrest by Guardia Civil last September, along with two of her councillors, which she responded to by concentrating on international migration, and alleging a massive state conspiracy against her. Without a doubt she is bare faced and tireless. We wish her well. Qué Bueno.
**An error in this article, published April 5, was corrected after it came to our attention that the bankrupt company Hermanos Santana Cazorla had been incorrectly stated to be a shareholder in the timeshare operators Anfi Group. A letter signed by Anfi CEO Jose Luis Trujillo, made clear to Anfi members that there was no reason to be concerned with regards to the bankruptcy as HSC, though part of the same family of companies, was not in actual fact the company that owns a 5o% shareholding in Anfi.
If you spot any errors in our reporting please do not hesitate to contact us by email, or through our Contact page, or by calling +34 928 987 988
Bulo in Paradise: The Tauro Beach Saga
The Ballad of Tauro Beach:...Posted by The Canary News on Thursday, April 8, 2021
The Canary News
The Canary Islands: Influx of Foreign Property Buyers Risks Pushing Locals Out
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Record tourist arrivals to The Canary Islands, though Gran Canaria lags behind in the recovery
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Mogán town council assumes direct management of services on Playa de Mogán
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More than half of all Canary Islands properties sold last year were bought by foreigners, more than half of those non-residents
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Cordial director says they will fight “illegal” decision to allow cement factory to continue in Port of Santa Águeda
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Ella the danger mouse grabs more than she bargained for on holiday in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
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The Canary Guide: Maspalomas Market has moved to Parque Europeo while the new facilities are being built
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The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 2-4 September 2022
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Adult male imprisoned for causing significant damage to tourist apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, after pretending to be a child
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Smoking on bar terraces and on the street is not banned on Gran Canaria
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More Guardia Civil needed at Canarian airports to effectively deal with citizens coming from the UK, says AUGC
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Restrictions on international travel to Spain are expected to last until at least October
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#Tourism0: RIU close eight hotels on The Canary Islands
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Two suspected theives arrested after stealing documents and car from Playa del Águila
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News report of Arguineguín altercation, resulting in one migrant arrested, also lists multiple reports of disturbances in Puerto Rico
by Timon .:. | 14th January 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, #Tourism0, Community, Crime, Immigrants, Immigration, investigation, Mogán, News, Police, SUC | 0 CommentsThere has been a sudden increase in reports of altercations involving migrants. A news report this morning, following altercations earlier this week, has described new incidents, on Wednesday night, involving migrants currently being housed temporarily in empty...
Face masks in public places to be mandatory in Spain
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CEISA group’s iconic Gran Canaria cement factory at El Pajar request renewal of private port concession from Puertos Canarios
Cementos Especiales de las Islas SA (CEISA) has requested new authorisation from Puertos Canarios to renew their private port concession to continue using the Santa Águeda Pier, the only privately-owned industrial port on the islands, after the current concession ends. The request was made and processed this Tuesday morning, as the port’s concession term, granted in 1972, expires in October of next year, reports the company in a statement.
“The port infrastructure, located at the foot of the cement factory facilities, is essential for the production of this construction material, since it allows reception of part of the raw materials from the Peninsula and the transfer of the finished product to the port of Las Palmas and the rest of the islands of the Archipelago, “explained CEISA, specifying that “these operations involve the movement of half a million tons of materials annually and, thanks to this installation, the circulation of one hundred trucks per day is avoided via the South GC-1 highway along with the emission of 3,000 tons of CO2.”
The CEISA group, based in the province of Las Palmas, has 15 production, storage and sales points on Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma, has a turnover of €60 million and creates 150 direct jobs, of which 30% are of a technical profile. The indirect employment generated amounts to a further 450 people. The El Pajar factory has a production capacity of 1.5 million tons of cement and its materials are sold exclusively in the Canary Islands. Last year, despite the pandemic, the plant maintained its normal activity with the entire workforce, except for one fortnight was limited to essential jobs only.
“We have been in El Pajar for more than 60 years, generating wealth and employment, and our objective is to continue developing our activity with the three fundamental pillars, our factory, located on company land; quality and exclusivity to the Canary Islands, and the port, which allows us to be absolutely efficient by reducing transfers to a minimum”, said Claudio Piernavieja , General Coordinator of the CEISA group.
Cementos Especiales de las Islas began their journey in 1957, gaining their private port concession to build a large industrial loading pier in 1972 and have already spent more than six decades dedicated to the manufacture and sale of cement, mortar and construction materials for Gran Canaria and the rest of the islands. From their factory in El Pajar, in San Bartolomé de Tirajana, four types of cement and one type of mortar are produced adapted to constructions on the Islands, thanks to the Canarian pozzolana, the special volcanic silicate that is added to special underwater cements and hardwearing cements like Portland, considered one of the best such additives in the world for the manufacture of cement.
There are some who wish to develop the Bahía Santa Agueda as a tourist resort, with various interested parties having expressed a desire to take full advantage of what is thought to be the most tranquil and sunny spot on the whole island. There is a lovely little beach at El Pajar, overlooked by what some believe could have been the very first christian chapel ever built on the island, in a cave in the cliffside above the beach. Though there is no reason to think that CEISA will not be able to renew their concession, it will be of interest to some who may be looking for opportunities to exploit the privileged position, currently occupied by the cement factory, for more touristic aims. Only time will tell whether this will be simply an administrative process of renewal, or if any objections are to be raised about the manner in which this now prime piece of real estate is being exploited. With the Be Cordial Hotel Santa Agueda having just finished construction there is already some reason to suspect that further tourism interests might make themselves known.
The Canary News
Two squatters from Tafira “Mansion” arrested having allegedly encouraged minors to commit theft in exchange for booze and drugs
Mar, 2021 | Crime, investigation, News, Police, Property
Policia National in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria have arrested two squatters, aged 18 and 35, both with previous police records, alleged to be the perpetrators of crimes of robbery with force and crimes against public health. They reportedly provided narcotic substances, alcoholic beverages and psychotropic drugs to various minors, in order to encourage them to carry out criminal activities. They are also believed to have committed several robberies with force and one of them physically assaulted a man in a neighborhood of the city. Three minors between 15 and 17 years of age have also been arrested for crimes of a similar nature.
On the afternoon of January 23, the National Police received a call from a woman, via their direct line number 091, stating that she had surprised two individuals inside her property. When they were rebuked, the two men left the place quickly, leaving inside the farm a backpack with numerous personal effects and a smaller bag containing personal documentation and a large quantity of psychotropic drugs.
A police investigation was then initiated, which allowed them to fully identify the two individuals who had committed the home invasion and also to determine that the recovered effects had been stolen in various crimes of robbery with force committed in the neighborhoods of Tafira Alta. and La Montañeta.
The police investigations determined that the suspects had not only participated in several crimes of robbery with force, but were also sleeping in a squatted building in the well-to-do neighbourhood of Tafira, where minors went daily to obtain narcotic substances, alcoholic beverages and psychotropic drugs in exchange for them committing criminal offenses for the two squatters.
The building was known among the youth of the area as “the mansion”, where up to five minors between the ages of 15 and 17 were identified, all suspected to have committed robberies from vehicles, all ordered by the two squatters who have now been arrested.
Three of the minors were arrested as suspected perpetrators of crimes of robbery with force inside a vehicle and, once the procedures were completed, they were handed over to their legal guardians. Two of them had been on the run from their homes for several nights.
Days later, one of the men under investigation went in the company of another minor to the El Fondillo neighborhood of the capital, where he beat up a man whom he blamed for stealing “medicines” from his minors. The victim, a 32-year-old man, had to be treated urgently at a medical center in the capital, after being diagnosed with multiple injuries.
The police investigation ended with the location and arrest of the two men aged 18 and 35, for crimes of robbery with force and against public health. The youngest of the two arrested also had a request in force from a juvenile court in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Once the corresponding police report was instructed, the adult detainees were placed at the disposal of the competent Judicial Authority, and the 18-year-old man was ordered to be imprisoned.
The police intervention was carried out by agents of the South District Police Station of Las Palmas de GC
The Canary News
Adult male imprisoned for causing significant damage to tourist apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, after pretending to be a child
Feb, 2021 | #TheCanaryMigrantCrisis, Crime, Government, investigation, Migrants Gran Canaria, Mogán, News, Police, Property
On Thursday a judge ordered an adult male to be imprisoned, who had been detained earlier this week, along with three minors, for causing significant damage to tourist apartments in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Mogán. They had all been temporarily accommodated, as wards of the state, the responsibility of The Canary Islands Child Protection Services, under the care of an NGO association who have been dealing day-to-day with many of the unaccompanied minors to have landed on the shores of Gran Canaria by boat over the last few months.
The four migrants, who had only recently arrived by boat, three of them minors, were arrested for damage to rooms and communal areas in the apartment complex, usually occupied by tourists, in the southern resort town of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, last Monday night, after the four individuals, all of Moroccan origin, began to throw electrical appliances, including a microwave, out on to the terraces in front of the building, smashing windows and damaging furniture in two of the apartment rooms of the Puerto Bello. They destroyed much of one communal bathroom in the complex, during a raucous altercation, which left local residents reeling at the noise and vandalism and some claiming to be “besieged”.
A video, shot by one of the hotel employees, has been widely distributed on social media, and repeatedly put forward as evidence of “constant mayhem” and “riots every night” suffered by local neighbours of the quiet residential street where the complex is located.
The Guardia Civil and the Mogán Policia Local were, in fact, deployed to the scene last Monday, where agents, several armed with helmets and perspex security shields, proceeded to arrest the four individuals who were at the core of this disturbance, three of them minors and one adult who, despite his clearly muscular physique and facial stubble, had been posing as a minor after claiming to be under 18-years of age when he first arrived at the port of Arguineguín a few weeks previously.
The main guard court of San Bartolomé de Tirajana has, this Thursday, ordered the adult male into prison. He is suspected to have led the altercation on Monday and possibly others previously, which had been a major cause of concern for monitors looking after the other children.
The events on Monday night followed at least two prior altercations, over the week leading up to the arrests, to which security forces, including members of the Guardia Civil, had been deployed to that same premises. It has not yet been clarified if the same adult male, now shown to have been pretending to be a minor, was also involved in these prior events, however sources consulted by The Canary News have made clear that the Puerto Bello apartments had been “quiet for the first two months” and said that they had not witnessed any similar incidents prior to the third week of January, when reports of increasing noise, usually at night, became more frequent. The suspicion is that new individuals arriving may have negatively influenced or changed the dynamic between the children being accommodated onsite and their carers from the NGO, which in turn led to an increase in undesirable and even violent behaviour.
Local residents will now be keen to find out whether further incidents occur, or indeed if the problem characters being removed from the situation has resolved the issues for the time being.
The Canary News
Brits wanting to buy a property in the Canary Islands must first get a permit from the Ministry of Defence, after proving they do not have a criminal record
Jan, 2021 | #Ask Nicky, Business, Economy, Government, Immigrants, Immigration, Mogán, News, politics, Property, Tourism
Brits wanting to buy a property in the Canary Islands must now get specific permission from Spain’s Ministry of Defence, since January 1, following Brexit, when British subjects officially went from being EU citizens to being considered foreigners. Under Spanish law, Third Country Nationals, like the British, who wish to purchase a house, or any other rustic or urban property, in areas and facilities designated of interest for national defence must get prior military authorisations before any sale can be completed. The simple fact is that the two Spanish archipelagos —The Balearics and The Canaries— are areas declared of interest for national defence, and as such, access to property is limited in the case of all foreigners who are not EU citizens. The law in question was established in March 1975, just months before the death of military dictator Franco, who sanctioned it, and it is still fully in force to this day.
The law in question (8/1975, of March 12) regulates all areas and facilities of interest to national defence and was brought into force by Royal Decree 689/1978 eight months before the Constitution of Spain was approved. It defines places that are especially relevant or sensitive for national security, considering it necessary to restrict or control access by outsiders. All frontier territories in Spain, including islands and islets, are designated “areas of restricted access to property by foreigners.” Nearly 20% of Spain’s 8,000+ municipalities could be affected by this law, but in particular all of those in The Canary Islands and The Balearics would be included.
This in essence implies that any citizen of a third country needs approval from the Defence Ministry including Brits wanting to buy a flat, a house, any dwelling, premises or even a garage in the Canary Islands. And the authorisation must be prior to purchase, Dean of the College of Registrars for the province of Las Palmas, Rafael Robledo, has emphasised. In other words, these military permits are seen as a sine qua non condition for any sale, the latin legal term for “an indispensable and essential action requirement” prior to the closing of any sale of property, so it is not an action that can be performed retroactively, as with many other types of licence that some purchasers try to obtain afterwards, to do so in this case, theoretically, risks invalidating the sale.
The requirement is not only for individuals, but also for companies.
Both Private and Corporate property purchases require authorisation. Should a London-based multinational or investment fund seek real estate in the Canary Islands Archipelago, it would also need to request authorisation from the Ministry of Defence. This procedure was not required of Brits wanting to buy before December 31 2020, when they still retained all their rights as citizens of the European Union. But Brexit has had ever clearer consequences, not all of which have been fully appreciated from the outset.
All nationals of EU Member States, as well as those from Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, with whom there is a special agreement in place, are also considered nationals for the purposes of this law that regulates areas of interest for national defence. But since the UK is no longer a Member State, and furthermore, “There is no specific provision on civil cooperation” detailed in the London Withdrawal Agreement, says Enrique Maside, director of International Relations of the College of Registrars of Spain, “rules relating to the services and investment regime and liberalisation of capital movements in the agreement do not justify equal treatment of British citizens in the acquisition of real estate subject to restrictions for reasons of national defence”. In an article published by the College of Registrars Maside says that those who want to buy a second residence on the islands must first have military authorisation.
Two specific exceptions to the need for authorisation permits
There are in fact only two exceptions to this law, which would permit a British buyer to avoid having to apply for the military permit. If the property is already governed by a regional or local general management plan, that includes a favourable report from the Ministry of Defence, then this could already be covered by an implicit permit. Or, if the property is in an area already covered by a preceding piece of legislation, Law 197/1963, which established areas of national tourist interest under the Franco regime, then this permit from the Ministry of Defence would also not be required, however there are very few such areas that were designated in the Canary Islands Archipelago. Those that were approved, on these islands, between 1964 and 1975 include just five areas on the island of Tenerife; and on Gran Canaria the Costa Tauritos, on the coast of the southwestern municipality of Mogán.
There is some debate as to whether the law will be enforced, or indeed if it will only applied to rural properties, as opposed to those designated as urban and under an appropriately approved general management plan, it is imperative that property purchasers seek accurate legal advice before entering into any contract to buy, and ensure that everything is being done correctly. Even a notarised sale can be reversed if found to be lacking the correct authorisation, which would necessitate a reselling of the property once the correct paperwork had been obtained. Those who have been verifiably residing in Spain, permanently, for more than 10 years, can also seek Spanish national status, though that in itself could take a minimum of six months to complete. Which ever way you look at it there is a potential for added expense, that could be prohibitive if not handled correctly.
As well as this requirement, and until there is some sort of bilateral agreement between between the UK and Spain, Brits wanting to buy here on the islands will have to apply to the Ministry of Defence, including a full plan of the property and also a certificate that the buyer does not have a criminal record, which is seen as fundamental when it comes to dealing with issues of national defence. The British are among most prolific foreign buyers of houses in the region, although in recent years Italians purchasing property have rivalled them with equal numbers of purchases completed. Most British buyers have historically sought second homes for holidays and their use after retirement.
Ref: El Dia, Ultima Hora, Notaria Berrenechea, Canarias7
On another note: the impact of ‘Brexit’ on pharmacies
As the United Kingdom no longer belongs to the European Union, once other Brexit related change has also recently come to light, in connection to article 15 of Royal Decree 1718/2010, of December 17, which deals with medical prescription and dispensing orders. On the basis that prescriptions issued by doctors in the United Kingdom are now no longer valid for Spain. The Spanish Medicines Agency has pointed out that pharmacists may need to consult in order to minimise the impact of ‘Brexit’ as they may not be allowed to legally dispense to Brits without the correct paperwork in place.
The Canary News
Norwegian tourist arrested after allegedly wrecking hotel room, breaking televisions and trying to leave on a flight
The Guardia Civil Guard Airport Security Detachment on Gran Canaria, arrested a Norwegian national on suspicion of having caused serious damage to a hotel room where he had been staying on the south of Gran Canaria. The Norwegian tourist arrested was trying to escape without taking any responsibility for breaking several items, but was caught out when his partner tried to find out how much should be paid to pay for the damage.
The complaint was filed at the Guardia Civil Main Post in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Mogán, where a representative of the hotel stated that one of the guests, who had been with a partner, had damaged the room in which he was staying, breaking two televisions, which were found broken and wet on one of the apartment beds, as well as having broken the bathroom hairdryer, among other damages listed.
In the statement, the hotel employee said that on the same day he had received a telephone call from the suspect’s partner, inquiring about the amount owed for the damages, who said that they were at the airport, and intended to leave the island.
The Puerto Rico Main Post requested that the Gran Canaria Airport Security Detachment locate and detain the accused man, who was in the departures area waiting to board a flight, presumably trying to avoid any type of criminal responsibility.
Once located, and the Norwegian tourist arrested, he was identified and later formally charged as the alleged perpetrator of a crime, and then detained at the Puerto Rico Main Post until he appearing in court in San Bartolomé de Tirajana
#GUARDIACIVIL DETIENE A UN TURISTA PPR CAUSAR DAÑOS EN LA HABITACIÓN DEL HOTEL EN EL QUE SE ALOJABA
• El presunto autor…
Posted by Benemérita Las Palmas on Tuesday, January 26, 2021
€17.5m Canary Islands Rental Assistance aid package announced, accepting applications only until March 5
Jan, 2021 | #Ask Nicky, #TheCanaryCoronaVirus, Business, Community, Economy, Family, Government, News, Property
The Canary Islands Government Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing on Friday presented their new rental assistance aid package for 2020-21, through the Canarian Institute of Housing, with a budget of €17.5m in financing collaboration with the Ministry of Mobility, Transport and Urban Agenda. The subsidy is intended to guarantee access to rental housing for the most vulnerable sectors of the population in the Canary Islands as well as young people who wish to access their first properties. The applications call for this benefit package has been launched this Monday January 18, and is one of the first new Housing Plan of the Canary Islands 2020-25 programs to be implemented.
The main recipients of this aid will be people of legal age and residents in Spain who have a rental contract for a home in the Canary Islands and who meet the stipulated rental price limits and certain income conditions. Within the applicant profiles, this aid will prioritise large or single-parent families; coexistence units that include victims of gender violence or coexistence units that include people with functional diversity, or registered disability, to a degree equal to or greater than 33%.
Sebastián Franquis from the Canary Islands Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Housing said “We are launching one of the most important programs for the Canary Islands Housing Plan because we not only build and rehabilitate housing, we also help families who are in a situation of social and economic vulnerability to pay part of their rent, and we are aware that the demand for housing in the Canary Islands is much higher ”.
The rental Assistance aid package subsidies will be divided into two lines of aid, on the one hand, for general rent and for those over 65 for which the government can subsidise up to 40% of the rent, or 50% in the event that all the people in the family unit are over 65 years of age. On the other hand, there are rental subsidies available for people under 35 years of age, who may be subsidised up to 50% of their rent for the property and, exceptionally, dependent persons over 35 years of age who may live in it.
Those who qualify as beneficiaries can be subsidised on rental receipts for the period starting January 1, 2020 through until December 31, 2021. Franquis recalled that “it will be an essential requirement” to indicate in the application for these grants, which of the two types is being applied for (general rental aid and for those over 65 years of age or aid for those under 35 years of age) to be able to proceed with assessment by the Canarian Housing Institute (ICAVI).
In order to apply for this aid, the income of the coexistence unit must be equal to or less than 3 times the IPREM (Public Indicator of Multiple Effects Income) except for certain specific cases, such as large families or those with members with functional diversity, where the income allowable may reach 4 or 5 times the IPREM.
Applications for the rental assistance aid package can be submitted starting from January 18 through to March 5 both in person and online through the Canarian Housing Institute or at the offices of the Canarian Chambers of Commerce, with which an agreement has been reached for the provision of services for this applications call for rental assistance. Faced with the current Covid-19 health crisis and in order to achieve agile and efficient processing, the ICAVI will prioritise telematic applications for which wide coverage of care has already been prepared. For this modality, anyone who do not have an electronic signature certificate or electronic ID can register without difficulty using the “Cl@ve Permanente” system or by calling 012, dependent on the Government of the Canary Islands, to request this process.
In the event that face-to-face presentation is chosen, it will preferably take place at the offices of the Canarian Chambers of Commerce or the Canary Islands Housing Institute (ICAVI) upon request for a prior appointment by calling 012, or at any of the records provided for in the regulations of the administrative procedure. General information, on the form and presentation of applications, can be obtained on the ICAVI website (https://www.gobiernodecanarias.org/vivienda/), by calling 012, or at the Canary Islands Chambers of Commerce.
The participation of the Chamber of Commerce is part of an agreement signed with the four chamber organisations in the Archipelago that establishes that the Chambers will be collaborating entities for the provision of collection services for the requests of citizens who demand general rental assistance, expanding the staff and technical resources for the Canarian Housing Institute.
Franquis pointed out that the Government of the Canary Islands “is working on a preliminary project, which is being developed by the Ministry of Social Services, where it is foreseen that within the “Income for Citizenship” a supplement for housing will be created,” adding that “the objective is for this aid to form part of that complement, therefore, it could be the last call for this subsidy, since it is desirable that it becomes an economic benefit that is paid monthly.”
There are many who provide services and help to the English Speaking community when trying to negotiate paperwork and social services applications. We do not hesitate in recommending Nicky Gordon of Ask Nicky, who has shown her commitment and effectiveness in assisting non-Spanish speakers in trying to navigate through often confusing procedures, she is professional, well connected, honest and charges only a modest fee. Why not give her a call or contact her through her Facebook page…
The Canary News
Curated news stories for English speakers who #LoveGranCanariaThe Canary News, Views & Sunshine - Est. 2009