Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Tens of thousands of weapons seized by Spanish police and Europol [Video]

In an operation dubbed “Portu,” Spanish National Police, working with Europol, have seized more than 10,000 assault rifles, shells, anti-aerial machine guns, grenades and 400 howitzers.

Europol released video footage of the huge cache of weapons on Tuesday, seized in several joint raids in Bilbao, Cantabria and Gerona in January this year as part of the Europol-supported Operation Portu. Reportedly the size of the haul was so great, it took the police weeks to catalogue.

A statement from Europol said there was a “significant risk” of the arsenal of weapons "being acquired by organized crime groups and terrorists." As noted by RT, the weapons stash was enough to start a small war or coup.

The investigation stemmed from the weapons used in the terrorist attack on a Jewish museum in Brussels in 2014. The latest stash of weapons contained deactivated firearms, largely purchased legally and later reactivated. They were ready to be repairs and put back into working order.

The National Police say they seized five people in the raids along with €80,000 ($85,000). The criminals were reportedly using a sports shop as a front for illegal firearms distribution. Police also found a workshop, used to reactivate the firearms, along with equipment to create forged certificates of reactivation.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Spanish National Police bust gang producing fake Ferraris and Lamborghinis [Video]

Spanish police arrested three people in Girona for manufacturing and selling counterfeit Ferraris and Lamborghinis

The vehicle assembly was done by moulding a Ferrari or Lamborghini body kit to a Toyota chassis, with the use of fiberglass, before selling them online.

Police found four completed fake Ferraris, while 14 others were still under construction.
The group attracted police attention once they put a vehicle up for sale for an approximate price of €41,000.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Moroccan woman caught trying to smuggle man in suitcase into Spain

The Spanish Civil Guard recently arrested a 22-year-old Moroccan woman, who was attempting to smuggle a 19-year-old man across the border.

Photo courtesy Guardia Civil
It happened on December 30, when border guards noticed that the woman was "acting suspiciously" while waiting in line to cross the border into the Spanish North African enclave of Ceuta, accompanied by a large suitcase. 
Due to her evident nervousness, the guards opened the suitcase to find a man, thought to be a Gabon citizen, curled up inside. He was reportedly moments away from suffocation in the airless suitcase and was carrying no passport or other identifying documents.
Spanish Civil Guard officers took the woman into custody.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

Afghan boy who wore Lionel Messi shirt made from plastic bags meets his hero [VIDEO]

Almost a year ago, photos of six-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi went viral, as he proudly wore a Messi shirt made from plastic grocery bags.

Photo by Fanny Schertzer / CC BY 3.0

Finally, young Murtaza Ahmadi has met his hero, Lionel Messi, after his story touched the hearts of people all over the world. It happened this week, when the young boy walked out onto the football pitch with the Barcelona star footballer.

Barça was playing a friendly against Al Ahli in Qatar at the time and Murtaza was flown from his home to meet both his idol, Messi, and the rest of the Barça team. This meeting was arranged by the organizing committee of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

The young boy was thrilled to have his dream come true, saying with a big smile on his face, “I’m very happy to have met my hero. It is a dream for me.” He also wore a real Barcelona jersey to the event. Murtaza accompanied the Barça team on to the pitch just before Tuesday’s match kicked off, firmly holding the five-time Ballon d’Or winner by the hand.

The story first came out in January, after photos of Murtaza playing football in the snow near his home in eastern Ghazni province went viral. He was five years old at the time and was pictured wearing an Argentina team Messi jersey, created by his older brother from shopping bags.

At the time, he was sent his own official shirt, signed by the Barça player, who is a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador. However, fears arose that, due to the international interest in the story, the young boy might be kidnapped and due to his sudden notoriety, his family were forced to flee Afghanistan and settle in neighbouring Pakistan.

Watch Murtaza interacting with Lionel Messi and the Barça and Al Ahli teams in Qatar below.

Source: The Local 

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Madrid police find lunchbox full of giant cockroaches in local park

Police in Madrid, Spain made a rather surprising – and definitely creepy – discovery in a park in Carabanchel recently. 


On opening a plastic lunch box left in the park in the suburb of Carabanchel, police discovered 54 living, giant hissing cockroaches inside. The insects are native to Madagascar and are known to grow to between 5 and 7.6 cm. Possibly even more scary, the cockroaches can live for up to five years.

They are one of 20 known species of giant cockroaches and emit a hissing sound, which is produced by forcibly expelling air through specially-adapted respiratory openings on the fourth segment of their bodies. The insects have no wings and live in rotting tree trunks when in the wild. 

The Local notes that some people find the cockroaches make good, if rather bizarre, pets. However, the owner of this bunch of insects had obviously had enough. 

A police spokesman told Europa Press that they have no idea how the giant cockroaches ended up in the park, adding, “Somebody must have dumped them.” 

The cockroaches were collected by officers from the environmental unit of Madrid’s Municipal Police force and have been taken to a wildlife centre in the capital.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

Spain may put the clocks back to GMT to aid productivity

At the moment, Spain runs one hour ahead of the U.K. in winter and two hours ahead in summer, but that could all change.

Photo by Muffingg / CC BY-SA 3.0

Discussions are afoot to make Spain go back in time –  without the aid of a time machine –  as the government considers changing back to the original GMT time zone.

The country does officially lie in the same time zone and both Portugal and the U.K., but the dictator Francisco Franco decided to change it in 1942 to keep in line with Germany, under his then great pal Adolf Hitler. With the exception of the Canary Islands, that time zone change has stayed in place ever since.That is until now.

The writer reported back in 2013 that talks were ongoing to change the time zone, to keep it in line with GMT. Now things appear to be firming up.

According to labour minister, Fatima Ibañez, the current time zone has led to Spaniards working longer days than workers in other European countries. Now the Spanish government is saying that changing to Greenwich Mean Time would reduce the length of the working day and improve productivity in the country, by allowing workers to strike a better work/life balance. 

According to a statement by Ibañez on Monday, December 12, the government will seek agreement with representatives of companies and trade unions to allow the reform of the time zone. The plan was reportedly approved in August this year by the Partido Popular and Ciudadanos parties.

Will Spain changing to GMT improve workers' hours?

When reading comments on a report by Euro Weekly News on the subject, some people do rightly point out that people's working hours will remain the same. They will simply move back one or two hours –  depending on the season at the time –  so it is debatable whether this will actually help.

No doubt those of us here in Spain who suffer whenever there is a daylight savings change will feel it even more, should the country definitely decide to change to GMT. However, we will, at least, gain an hour or two that day.