Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine
UD Las Palmas Celebrate Return to La Liga First Division in Grand Style after Gran Canaria Stadium Goalless Draw with Alavés
May, 2023 |
UD Las Palmas made a glorious comeback to the First Division in a thrilling encounter against Deportivo Alavés that kept fans on the edge of their seats until the final whistle. In front of a raucous near-capacity-crowd of 31,790, Las Palmas sealed their return ticket to the top flight with a hard-fought goalless draw in the season’s photo finish.
The Canary Guide Día de Canarias #WeekendTips 26-28 May 2023
May, 2023 |
What an interesting last weekend of May ahead. Weather predictions are showing some rain showers are likely across Gran Canaria. This extended #WeekendTips covers up to Tuesday, when all things Canarian are celebrated on the Día de Canarias. There’ll be some gorgeous Patron Saints’ festivities happening in San Fernando de Maspalomas as well as in Valleseco.
Valleseco literally means “dry valley” in Spanish, but is actually one of the wettest municipalities Gran Canaria. Nestling between the famous fresh water sources of Firgas & Teror, half way up the island’s mountainous northern slopes, this area is well known for its apple growers, cider and its weekly market
Six weeks since the unexplained disappearance of Anna-Karin on Gran Canaria
May, 2023 |
The authorities on Gran Canaria have been engaged in a rigorous search for Swedish tourist Anna-Karin Bengtsson, who went missing in the south of Gran Canaria around April 9. Her unexplained disappearance has caused her family much distress, with no clues to her whereabouts having emerged in the six weeks since they first realised her phone was no longer functioning.
The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 19-21 May 2023
May, 2023 |
An exciting May weekend ahead with abundant events and festivities taking place all around Gran Canaria. There are Patron Saints’ festivities for Motor Grande, in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, and in El Tablero in the municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana and up in the mountains of Artenara. There is also a two day lively exhibition event in Meloneras boulevard and the Rally Gran Canaria is held this Friday and Saturday.
Dead man, of German origin, found floating in the sea near Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
May, 2023 |
The body of a 58-year-old German man was found this Friday floating just off the coast of Mogán, on the south-west of Gran Canaria.
Newsbrief: Guardia Civil recover objects stolen from Mogan Mall with market value of €4870
Feb, 2022 | Crime, investigation, Mogán, Police
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.
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 arrest two suspected phone thieves in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria
Guardia Civil, from the Main Post in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, Mogán, last Saturday, February 5, arrested a man and a woman, aged 31 and 19 years of age respectively, both with prior police records for crimes against other people’s property, on suspicion of a robbery with violence against two minors, committed in a shopping centre in Puerto Rico where they attacked the young people and stole their high-end mobile phones valued at about €1,600.
The arrests occurred following events on December 19, 2021, when the youths were at the back of a shopping centre in Puerto Rico, they reported that they had been attacked while sitting on a bench and a couple had forced them to hand over mobile phones without saying a word, say the Civil Guard in a press release.
Later, they were helped by a Guardia Civil patrol, which verified that the minors had slight contusions all over their bodies, so they were referred to the Arguineguín Health Centre, in Mogán.
Based on these facts, the Guardia Civil initiated an investigation, making inquiries about the time of the events and studying a series of images, and were able to identify the alleged perpetrators of the robbery and aggression, who were also identified by the victims.
For this reason, the Civil Guard carried out a security operation, in coordination with the Policia Local of Mogán, that allowed them to locate and arrest the suspects during the night of February 5, when agents carried out reconnaissance on foot by the park on Avenida Tomás Roca Bosch in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, where the man and woman were arrested for the alleged crime of robbery with violence and intimidation.
The investigation is still open in order to locate the two stolen terminals.
450 kg of cocaine found in a container at the port of Las Palmas
Jun, 2021 | Crime, investigation, News, Police
A container, which was destined for Valencia, was inspected in the Port of Las Palmas and 450 kg of cocaine was seized, as a result three people were arrested in the port of Valencia
Policia Nacional Agents, in a joint operation with the Guardia Civil and the Tax Agency, this week discovered 450 kg of cocaine hidden in a container that was in transit from Brazil to Spain, its first point of entry into Spain being the port of Las Palmas of Gran Canaria.
Investigations began when, through international customs and police cooperation, information was received of a possible narcotic substance having been detected, presumably cocaine, from a container destined for Valencia.
A joint team of investigators was formed, made up of officials from the Policia Nacional working with agents from Customs Surveillance and the Guardia Civil. This team carried out the operational actions that determined the apprehension of 450 kg of cocaine in the Port of Las Palmas, initiating the appropriate investigations in relation to the recipients of the drug. These steps made it possible to determine that there were three people of Spanish nationality involved residing in Valencia and working in the port.
A surveillance operation in the Port of Valencia, initiated by units similar to those of the Port of Las Palmas, concluded with the arrest of the three individuals who were trying to recover the drug five days after the container had entered Spain.
Two detained in an animal abuse case in Tauro
The Guardia Civil detained two people for an alleged crime of continual animal abuse, thought to have been committed by keeping 23 dogs, two horses a donkey, 60 chickens, four sheep and six goats “in conditions incompatible with life”.
The only water available to some of the animals was completely full of larvae due to the lack of hygiene and many of them presented cachexia, parasites and physical symptoms of inactivity.
After receiving a complaint, reporting what was happening, Seprona carried out an inspection in the indicated area, located in Tauro in the municipality of Mogán, in which a veterinarian from the Regional Ministry of Agriculture participated along with another from an animal protector.
After verifying that the facilities did not meet the minimum health safety or space conditions for the animals, 23 dogs were seized and taken by an animal protector. An unequivocal symptom that the animals did not have any type of physical activity was found in their extremely long nails, which made them barely able to move in a coordinated way.
Policia nacional’s “Operation Arión” broke up a trafficking ring that may have organised transit for thousands of migrants, using false documentation, and with access to thousands of passports
Apr, 2021 | Migrants Gran Canaria, News
“Operation Arión” was the name given to a coordinated series of raids, as part of a covert operation, across the south of Gran Canaria, and on mainland Spain that has managed to smash an organised criminal gang, suspected of having arranged transport for thousands of incoming migrants from the Canary Islands to the peninsula. More than 300 migrants, who had arrived in the archipelago aboard open boats, known as pateras and cayucos, had their travel arranged from the same travel agency in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria. Investigators suspect the gang may have profited by more than €500,000, with access to possibly thousands of passports, and having moved many hundreds, if not thousands, of migrants irregularly through Gran Canaria and other islands.
The Policía Nacional‘s General Commissariat for Immigration earlier this month managed to expose and shut down at least three criminal groups, who together coordinated the management of illegal migrants who landed on the Canary Islands in pateras, facilitating travel from there to the Peninsula as well as other countries within the European Union. They supplied documents that either came from third parties or else they falsified paperwork to enable onward transit.
Policía Nacional “Operation Arión” in Arguineguín. Image:- Canariavisen
Working out of an Arguineguín hairdressers, called Barbershop Akram, which was named after the son of the couple who ran it, very near to the port where a large number of the arriving migrants were being brought in to safety, after having been rescued by the Spanish lifeboat service, Salvamento Marítimo, according journalist JM Zuloaga writing in Spanish daily La Razón, on Monday. The venture was allegedly headed by a Moroccan national, who originates from the mountainous Rif region of northern Morocco, identified with the initials TB; and his wife, KB. Their operation was dedicated to more than just cutting hair, or offering shaves, hiding in plain sight they allegedly coordinated a plot which may have sent thousands of people, who arrived on the islands from Morocco and other African countries, on to the Spanish Peninsula.
Those wising to leave the Archipelago, and head to Europe paid €1,500, if they already had a valid passport; and, otherwise, €2,000 for travel and documents to be arranged, by the organised group, who provided passports that had previously been used by other people, according to sources from within the investigation, consulted by La Razón.
The barber’s plot was well coordinated, using “captadores”, (procurers or “captors”), whose job it was to move through the tourist hotels undetected, where migrants were being temporarily accommodated under the care of NGOs, on the south of Gran Canaria, to offer their services.
Policía Nacional “Operation Arión” in Arguineguín. Image:- Canariavisen
Once a client had been secured, they were instructed to go to the hairdresser’s shop and deposit money and, if they did not have it immediately available, they were pointed to a specific pay phone booth from which to ask their relatives in Morocco to send funds via wire transfer. Once the fee had been sent they were given a passport to use as a supporting document so that they could receive the amount and pay the gang.
A nearby Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria travel agency arranged the tickets, as part of a “package” which included a false reservation for a hotel in the city to which they were trying to get.
The married couple, the person who controlled the pay phone and the director of the travel agency, are all among those who were arrested in a coordinated series of raids that took place across the south of Gran Canaria and on the mainland.
Policía Nacional “Operation Arión” in Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria Image:- Canariavisen
Before taking the arranged flights, or boarding the ship booked for their passage, migrants gathered in the hairdresser’s awaiting a pick up vehicle to take them to the port or airport of departure.
Among the travelling migrants, throughout each trip, was the “pasador“, whose job it was to collect the passports then take a flight back to the Canary Islands so that the documents could be used again.
It was on one of these journeys that Spanish National Police from the Immigration department, managed to detect a group, including the “passer” and six migrants, at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport.
The arrivals were noticed by agents simply for displaying particularly defiant attitudes, enough for them to stand out in the crowd, despite displaying great self-discipline, as if they had received some kind of training. The “passer” tried to hide the passports in a public restroom, but was caught out by surprise, before he could board a return trip to Tenerife.
The people in the hairdresser operation kept records details about a thousand passports and, more importantly, a full registry containing the names of the travellers, as well as the flights for which tickets were purchased for each one. More than 300 tickets had been order through the one travel agency.
The hairdresser allegedly treated the other participants in the plot very well, and paid them generously for the work they did. In the safe, in the shop, in the centre of Puerto Rico de Gran Canaria, some €300,000 in cash were found.
4,000 passports and 45 arrests
When some of the migrants started to have difficulties embarking at the ports and airports on Gran Canaria and Tenerife, the plotters began to divert migrants to other islands, where a contingent group would also be sent to wait on standby, to ensure it one group was stopped, another might get through.
All the different operational groups in the network are said to have come from Morocco’s Rif region and, over time, a few broke away from the central organisation to set up their own businesses.
Police specialists involved in “Operation Arión” are now trying to establish the number of people moved through the hairdresser network, with first estimates that they could have had up to 4,000 passports at their disposal.
At least 45 arrests were made as part of an extensive operation in different parts of Spain, with charges ranging from document falsification to crimes against the rights of foreign citizens, 17 of these people having already been jailed awaiting trial. Police estimate that the profits to these organisations could well have been more than half a million euros, and but could be much higher than that.
One of the groups involved, during the latter half of 2020, was found to have arranged transit for more than 300 immigrants via Las Palmas. The “Operation Arión” investigation was supported by Europol and various units of the Policia Nacional, coordinated by the San Bartolomé de Tirajana Court of Instruction No. 3 on the south of Gran Canaria.
Tenerife man detained with 3D printed guns has “a worrying profile and is obsessed with weapons”
Apr, 2021 | News
The man found making weapons using 3D printers, as well as homemade improvised explosives devices (IEDs) who was arrested in Santa Cruz de Tenerife last September, after a secret investigation that lasted more than year, has been identified with the initials JM. According to police sources, he presented “a worrying profile”, as someone who mixes an obsession with weaponry and a manifest interest in terrorist activities, urban guerrilla-craft and a far-right ideology. He is known to have used the so-called “dark web” to obtain manuals to further his dangerous activities and to have produced a number of what appear to look like functioning 3D printed guns.
The 55-year-old, of Spanish nationality, owns four properties on Tenerife and in the largest he was discovered to have a functioning workshop to build weapons, in an area known as Vistabella, next to the San Joaquín castle.
Investigators from the Policía Nacional General Information Commissary working with the Provincial Information Brigade and the Aduanas Customs Surveillance Investigation Group found his only known economic activity was as the administrator of a residence for the elderly, also located in Vistabella.
However, agents started a patrimonial investigation to find out if he has other income. JM is currently on probation pending trial. Up until September, he had no criminal record in Spain. The investigation began in early 2020, when intelligence detected that he was acquiring the precursor items necessary to manufacture explosive devices as well as ordering “Nazi supremacists” material. In one statement, the accused is said to have spontaneously claimed that he was linked to the Venezuelan Army until just over 20 years ago, when Hugo Chávez came to power. That claim has been discounted for now.
After travelling to Florida (USA) his interest in the operation and use of small and long barrelled weapons is thought to have grown exponentially. He frequented shooting galleries and ranges and arms trade fairs. According to sources, “he is obsessed” with firearms, but he has not displayed any clear signs of mental illness. During the proceedings of the investigation, it has been proven that he accessed the dark web to download manuals on terrorism and bomb making, some of which he produced and later exploded.
The existence of so many frames for 3D printed guns seems to suggest that his overall objective was to commercialise the units, though it is not clear if he had other specific plans or links to groups with intentions to use them. Despite the fact that 3D printers can now manufacture up to 95% of the parts of a handgun in plastic, there are still some element that must be made of metal, including the firing pin, which can be acquired from China or the United States over the internet. Experts consulted by TheCanaryNews say that it is highly improbable that most individuals would be able to make a functioning weapon, due to the extreme forces involved, meaning that if the frames were not particularly strengthened in the right way they would be more likely to explode in the had of the user than to cause any serious harm to others. But, they say, it can be done.
Police have commented that they are most concerned about the moment when citizens are able to access 3D printers to produce metallic objects. Such printers do already exist already, able to print metallic reinforced components, though it is not clear if they are yet of a standard that can be used in weapons manufacture, the base machines start at as little as €10,000 each, and as time goes on are likely to become more advanced and more affordable, raising the spectre of an age when functioning weaponry could become accessible to even the most fringe organisations and ideologies.
Secret Investigation: The Most Serious Threat To Security – Spain’s first 3D printed weapons workshop, dismantled on Tenerife, man arrested with explosives and white supremacist iconography
Apr, 2021 | News
The greatest, most serious threat to security on The Canary Islands today, in Spain and in Europe, does not come from outside. It comes from within. Spanish Police have finally removed the secrecy order from an ongoing covert investigation, that resulted in a significant and shocking find, on our neighbouring island of Tenerife. A fully functioning arms factory; creating dangerous unlicensed weaponry, discovered last September, in a workshop run by a man who bought materials over the internet and was in possession of various bomb-making, and weapons manufacturing manuals, as well as guides to terrorist and military tactics, and, notably, various forms of symbolism and iconography adopted by fascists and white supremacists. The question, now, is; was he acting alone?
The most dangerous people in Spain, today, are those same ones who create fear and lies about “external threats”, while promoting security through division and hatred, and enable the plotting of mayhem and potential for bloodshed on our own streets. If we do not calmly assess the situations we face, by working together; if we become too easily distracted by those who promote fear, and allow our security forces, and tactical response teams, to be erroneously deployed, where they are not really needed, we are all at risk of letting the real enemies of our society take control of our social discourse. We cannot let protectionists shape our narrative. Yes the world can be a dangerous place, but in the main our system works well. We endanger ourselves if we spread panic, or cry wolf, instead of calmly promoting cooperation and unity, working together to identify real and present dangers.
Policia Nacional agents and officials from the Spanish Tax Agency have taken down an operation from Tenerife, responsible for the first-known 3D-printed weapons workshop in Spain. The man running the workshop was arrested for the alleged illegal possession of weapons and explosives.
The clandestine workshop, where the detainee is accused of assembling firearms manufactured using a 3D printer, was discovered after a combined investigation by Spain’s General Information Commissary, Tenerife’s Provincial Information Brigade and the Tax Agency’s Customs Surveillance unit.
Two 3D printers, eleven spools of 3D printer filament and numerous computer devices used for the manufacturing of weapons were seized.
In addition, 19 3D printed handgun frames, nine magazines, two silencers, two unnumbered handgun slides, two barrel rifling parts, two firing pins, an Airsoft AR-15 assault rifle replica, were seized, as well as a carbine with a telescopic sight, several metal tubes to make barrels, a holographic viewer, a plastic mould to make frames and various pieces used to make small arms (rods, sights, crosshairs, triggers, springs, hammers, among others).
Agents also located two tasers, five knives, a machete, a katana and various objects with “supremacist” symbols including two flags representing a trisquel (an ancient celtic symbol with three curved or jointed segments emanating from a single point that has been adopted by white supremacists ) and a pistol holster with the emblem of the German National Socialist Army on it.
Of special importance to the investigation, was the detection of more than 30 manuals on terrorism, urban guerrilla, military strategy, a homemade explosives manual, one on the use and handling of firearms and the manufacture of firearms through 3D printing.
Various chemical substances were also found that could be used in the production of explosive devices, including “black powder”, aluminium, nitrate and acetone were used, which meant the tactical firearms and explosives specialists of the TEDAX-CBRN team were required neutralise the active threats, and a canine unit specialised in the detection of these types of substances.
The operation, was carried out on September 14, and directed by the Court of Instruction number 3 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, which has kept the case secret until now.
Spain’s first known 3D printed illegal weapons workshop
The investigation began when specialist agents detected the existence of a person illegally making purchases of essential parts for firearms and explosive substances, over the internet.
After analysing all the information obtained, a corresponding operational deployment was established, carrying out four searches on Tenerife.
When agents entered one of the premises they immediately saw one of the 3D printers in full operation. A handgun frame was being printed and was almost finished.
The detainee had a large number of the fundamental parts and pieces needed to complete the assembly with the frame manufactured on the 3D printer. The arrested detainee had everything he needed to fully manufacture small firearms.
3D printing of weapons in the EU is a serious concern
Additive manufacturing has become a major and worrying factor in the proliferation of firearms, facilitating access to them by criminal or terrorist groups.
A terror attack carried out in Germany, against a Jewish synagogue in October 2019, employed, among other weapons and explosives, a rifle made with a 3D printer.
Spain’s General Information Commission stands at the forefront of monitoring these new capabilities, employed by sophisticated criminal groups, and leads a working group of European police forces, as part of the EMPACT FIREARMS platform, dedicated to combating emerging threats in this area and, specifically, responding to threats posed by 3-d printed firearms manufacture.
Spanish National Police, in Madrid, are planning an International Congress dedicated to 21st Century Firearms and Emerging Threats.
The Spanish Tax Agency’s Customs and Special Taxes Department, through their Customs Surveillance unit, co-directs the operational and tactical action in the fight against illicit arms trafficking, as part of the Empact Firearms scope of operations.
The Ministry of the Interior in Spain promotes EU Action on illicit arms trafficking through the European Council’s Customs Cooperation Group, which is currently being led by the Spanish Department of Customs and Special Taxes during the period 2020-2021.