Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Leighton Richardson released from custody after being held since Christmas Eve.

Leighton Richardson arrested in Tenerife after his girlfriend was found dying in a pool of blood at her apartment has been released from custody after being held since Christmas Eve.Before making his bail decision the judge studied police information which – despite earlier reports – said no baseball bat had been found at her flat.
But while investigations continue Leighton Richardson, born in Wrexham and who grew up in Mold, remains a suspect.He has been ordered to report daily to the court at Arona, on the holiday island’s south coast, where the investigating judge in charge of the case is based.Richardson has also had to surrender his passport to the court.
He was arrested in the early hours of Christmas Eve after Lisa McConway, 28, from Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland, was found by police at her flat in the brash resort of Playa de las Americas.She was in a critical condition and had severe bruising to much of her body.She was rushed to hospital but died at 1pm that day.
Reports said police had gone to the flat after neighbours telephoned just after 3am to report a violent row was taking place.The investigating judge decided to grant Richardson “provisional liberty” – the Spanish term for bail – after studying a written report by pathologists following an autopsy.
The experts were reported as concluding Miss McConway, who had a British passport, could have died either as the result of a beating or following a fall, it was reported yesterdayAlthough her injuries were consistent with an attack the autopsy revealed she suffered from a blood clotting condition which could cause extensive bruising as the result of a fall, court sources told local journalists.
Before making his bail decision the judge had also studied a police report which despite earlier reports said that no baseball bat had been found at Miss McConway’s flat.Nor had any witnesses been found to back-up the claim reportedly made by the initial caller a serious row had taken place.But two witnesses had said earlier Miss McConway had been “drinking a lot” and they had seen her “drunk”. The witnesses said she had fallen down opening a gash in her head.For his part Richardson had emphatically denied throughout his time in police custody and later at a closed door hearing in front of the investigating judge he had beaten Miss McConway.
Following Miss McConway’s death Jose Antonio Batista, the Spanish Interior Ministry representative in Tenerife, described the scene which greeted officers at her apartment as a “Dantesque spectacle”.He was quoted as telling local reporters: “All the furniture was overturned and there was blood on the floor and the walls.”
The official also said Miss McConway had telephoned Richardson, who lived elsewhere, at 3am last Wednesday to say she felt unwell. The boyfriend arrived shortly afterwards at her flat.Reports yesterday said the couple’s young son would be handed over to Richardson on his release.

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Leighton Richardson has been arrested following the brutal murder of Lisa McConway

Leighton Richardson has been arrested following the brutal murder of Lisa McConway, 28, from Dublin, who was beaten to death with a baseball bat in Tenerife on Christmas Eve.Richardson was arrested yesterday morning by Spanish police and is to appear at a closed hearing before a magistrate will decide whether or not to press charges.He is understood to be the father of Lisa McConway's three-year old son. It's believed the boy was in the apartment when his mother was attacked. Police were called when neighbours heard a violent row.McConway was taken to a local hospital where she died at around midday on Christmas Day.

Spanish anti-Corruption prosecutor is to investigate who sold funds organised by the disgraced New York broker, Bernard Madoff, in Spain

Spanish anti-Corruption prosecutor is to investigate who sold funds organised by the disgraced New York broker, Bernard Madoff, in Spain. The prosecutor wants to establish if the agents acting here took an active part in the fraud which has been carried out, and it means that the Optimal and Banif funds from Santander will be under inspection along with all those who distributed the funds.

Thursday, 25 December 2008

New owners of the Hotel Los Monteros, sacked 72 of the hotel’s 180 workers


The new owners of the Hotel Los Monteros, the Russian petrol group, North West Oil, are reported by El País to have sacked 72 of the hotel’s 180 workers, some 40%.
Gonzalo Fuentes, the Regional Secretary of the Commerce Federation of the Union Comisones Obreras, said that the workers are to take legal action, and say they have not been paid any compensation for the sackings or three months back pay which is owed. They are planning strike action on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day and say the stoppage could become indefinite. A final decision on strike action will be taken by the workers on Friday.A statement from the hotel said the decision was taken for economic reasons.

Monday, 22 December 2008

Spain’s government is to help home-seekers buy or rent one million homes in the next four years.

Spain’s government is to help home-seekers buy or rent one million homes in the next four years, it said on Friday, as it seeks fiscal catalysts as well as props for the hard-hit housing sector.
Under the plan, which was approved by the cabinet on Friday, Spain will spend 10.1 billion euros ($13.4 billion) to help the poorest families, the elderly, young people, the disabled and victims of domestic violence find a home through a system of subsidies to developers.

It also throws a lifeline to Spain’s struggling builders who have seen revenues crumble following a shuddering halt to a decade-long boom.That, added to a lack of credit, could see many more go the way of Martinsa Fadesa — at one time Spain’s biggest builder — which filed for administration earlier this year.The Housing Ministry said in a statement that the plan dedicated a third more than the plan’s previous draft and would increase the number of homes available by roughly 380,000 as Spain looks to infrastructure projects to head off what analysts forecast will be its worst recession in 50 years during 2009.Spain has announced fiscal stimulus totalling over 50 billion euros of tax breaks, low-cost loans and public works spending.

75-year-old woman was killed last night when the bedroom roof of her cave house collapsed in on top of her as she was sleeping.

75-year-old woman was killed last night when the bedroom roof of her cave house collapsed in on top of her as she was sleeping. The incident occurred at around 2.30am at number 19, calle Castellana, Rojales (Alicante), a small town with a population of just over 7,000 inhabitants some 4km inland from Guardamar del Segura.
The rest of the property was unaffected. Emergency medics were unable to revive the victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

legal firm in Murcia is offering properties for sale at really bargain basement prices

legal firm in Murcia, acting under instruction from several banks and almost bankrupt real estate developers, is offering properties for sale at really bargain basement prices. Some of the deals on offer are the result of property being embargoed, whilst others are due to an excessive building programme.
For example: a brand new home with three bedrooms and all the attendant services, set on the coast and near a golf course, is being priced at just one hundred thousand euros.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Ibiza Night Club owners raided by Organized Crime Special Response Group

Agents of the National Police Corps, assigned to the Special Response Group against Organized Crime in Ibiza, have proceeded to the dismantling of a complex criminal organization composed of Ibiza citizens who were very much related to the world of the night. It is the largest network of introduction and distribution of narcotic substances by residents on the island, according to the police stressed in a statement. investigation, which began in mid-May, found that detainees introduced and distributed the goods among traffickers involved in sales at bars and nightclubs on the island. The head of the organization, PPR, was in charge of making contacts with the mainland to stock up on drugs. The ringleader had numerous rented in the name of third parties in order to avoid such as leaseholder appear. Distributed the goods among all the homes, located in spots strategically placed to detect police presence This subject was traveling in rented vehicles, also on behalf of third parties, to avoid being detected. To provide this infrastructure was in charge of other detainees, TIT, who gained a certain amount of money held by each administration. December 8 players GRECO detected how the organization had anticipated the arrival in the island of a significant quantity of drugs, which sought to distribute at Christmas. After ascertaining that the goods were in Ibiza led to the arrest of those surveyed. Once the ruling was timely house searches and a half intervened four kilos of cocaine in rock of high purity, three cars (a BMW 330, a Volkswagen Golf and Volkswagen Polo), 4,000 euros in cash, precision scales, numerous mobile phones and 18,000 euros were frozen in several bank accounts.

Ocean View's "one-stop shop" property service ?

Football great John Barnes, tennis legend Pat Cash, cricket's Darren Gough and rugby's Martin Corry and Martin Offiah are just some of the high profile figures who were promised luxury apartments if their names could be used to promote overseas developments that many fear will never be built.The promises were made by a Spanish company, which was closely involved with Sean Woodhall, a 43-year-old fraudster who disappeared after a light aircraft carrying him and other debt-ridden businessmen crashed in a Brazilian forest in May.The sportsmen have been offered holiday homes at the proposed "five-star" resort in Tafedna Bay, Morocco, which does not have planning permission, where not a spade has been turned and yet on which sales agents have already been taking cash from British customers.Former England rugby captain Corry this week cancelled his involvement in the project after police warned him about the potential fraud."He no longer wants anything to do with it," his spokesman said. Pat Cash is also reconsidering his contract. In another closely related suspected scam, a group of well-known footballers, including one ex-England international, are preparing to sue Midlands-based Ocean View Properties, which the as having left hundreds of customers millions out of pocket.The company is also believed to have conned two serving police officers. Ocean View, which has debts of more than £100million, this week took down its website "for maintenance". Both police and Government fraud agencies are now investigating the company and a multimillion-pound black hole. The suspected swindles involve four central characters and their cross-border labyrinth of companies, which lured people to invest in "off-plan" holiday-homes in Spain, Morocco and the Dominican Republic.
Buy-to-let millionaire Colin Thomas is the owner of Ocean View Properties; Woodhall, whose body has never been recovered, was Mr Thomas's dealmaker in Spain; Adam Sargent was Mr Thomas's expert salesman in the sports world; and Spaniard Ricardo Miranda was the supposed developer in all three countries.Mr Thomas formed Ocean View in 2001, the year that Woodhall moved to Spain after being convicted for a franchise fraud in Birmingham.Woodhall found sites in the Costa del Sol, while in Britain Mr Thomas created a network of franchise agents to sell off-plan apartments.
These agents were part of Ocean View's "one-stop shop" property service, which allowed it to control cashflows and direct customers to its own recommended mortgage brokers, travel agents and Spanish conveyancing lawyers-a practice criticised by the buy-to-let industry's own trade body.
Among these agents was Mr Sargent, a financial adviser to star footballers. He helped Ocean View sponsor Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion, and Leicester City.
They told cash rich footballers there were guaranteed rental yields and high capital profits abroad. Among the many footballers to invest in discount deals were Villa's Gareth Barry, Newcastle United's Alan Smith and Shola Ameobi, and ex-Liverpool midfielder Steve Staunton.In return they allowed their names to be used on promotional material. Similar deals were also struck with England cricketers Duggie Brown and Paul Nixon, who still advertise their involvement with Ocean View on the Professional Cricketers' Association website.Customers would exchange contracts with a Spanish developer and hand over typical deposits of £70,000 to Ocean View in Britain.Mr Thomas said he would then transfer the bulk of the deposit to the developer. Many of the properties were built, but some were sub-standard, according to customers. However, cracks surfaced when the Costa del Sol property market collapsed amid a widespread corruption scandal in 2006. It then emerged that Ocean View and Mr Miranda's development company, Sungolf, had been taking deposits for the proposed Estepona Beach and Country Club near Malaga, a site that did not have planning permission and which has yet to be built.That was not allowed under Spanish law, legal sources have said.They have also said that Ocean View's practice of charging customers Spanish VAT on the full purchase price rather than on just the initial deposit was also illegal.Customers, many of them preparing legal cases, are now claiming they were deliberately duped. Last week, Ocean View's owner Colin Thomas said because Sungolf had all the cash, it would be starting a refund scheme in February.However, Mr Miranda's spokeswoman denied that was the case, claiming they had "proof" the money had already been "returned" to Ocean View.Meanwhile, Ocean View has also been telling unhappy customers they can transfer their contracts to another of Mr Miranda's developments-Morocco's Tafedna Bay, a site where Mr Sargent has been touting for business through his new company, Zenith Overseas Investments.The links between the businessmen can also be traced to Mr Miranda's Punta Perla development in the Dominican Republic, an empty site where Newcastle's Alan Smith has also invested.Last week, Ocean View's Mr Thomas said he had no involvement there, but the Sunday Express has obtained a sales document, which states that cheques for deposits in Punta Perla should be sent to his company in Staffordshire.Mr Thomas also said last week that he had severed relations with conman Woodhall in 2004. However, Ocean View was acting as agents for Woodhall's now-defunct Punta Perla Caribbean company from late 2005. Two weeks ago Woodhall's other company, Worldwide Destinations, was expelled from the industry's trade body, the Association of International Property Professionals, for allegedly selling non-existent mortgages in Egypt.Mr Thomas, Mr Sargent, and Mr Miranda have all strongly denied any wrongdoing. Mr Sargent said: "I took on an Ocean View franchise for five years and recommended it as a pension replacement and pension supplement scheme to my clients."The idea was to get people to buy properties, then get them built, and put them into a rental programme with its own travel arm."Generally, they've done that to a degree. The travel arm wasn't as successful as everybody had hoped, but we've managed to put people into a long term rental contract and I've been a lot more hands on than most in the sense that I've tried to manage the clients expectations."

Spain's top-selling newspaper El Pais on Sunday revealed details of CIA secret flights taking prisoners to Guantanamo bay using Spain as a stop-over.

Spain's top-selling newspaper El Pais on Sunday revealed details of CIA secret flights taking prisoners to Guantanamo bay using Spain as a stop-over. According to the paper, the National Court of Spain is investigating the false names given by crews of several CIA-operated civilian flights that stopped over in Palma de Mallorca in 2003 and 2005.Egyptian Mustafa Osama Nasr and German-Lebanese Hamed Al Masri, who were kidnapped and tortured by CIA agents in Milan and Macedonia, respectively, were in those airplanes, together with others prisoners, says El Pais.
It also reports crews in those flights used false identities during stopovers in Spain, as stated in evidences given by the British organization Reprieve to Spain Justice. If the false identity crime is finally proved, National Court of Spain will demand CIA agents be taken to court, judicial sources affirmed.El País paper talks about eight of the passengers, who made phone calls to US from Royal Plaza Hotel, Ibiza, on February 6-12, 2005, and describes them as a team that participated in seven kidnappings and illegal traffic of people. The two pilots of CIA planes were registered as James Richard Fairing and Eric Matthew Fair, but their real names are James Kovalesky and Eric R. Hume, according to Reprieve’s investigator Olivier Minkwitz.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Jürgen Sauer is the co-founder of the Kempinski Hotel in Estepona and the owner of the Sauer real estate company.Arrested

Jürgen Sauer is the co-founder of the Kempinski Hotel in Estepona and the owner of the Sauer real estate company. He has real estate interests in Mallorca, Tenerife, Sotogrande, Mijas and Marbella. His current offices are in the annexe of the Laguna Beach Hotel. Judicial sources have told El País that he is accused of money laundering and has been granted bail at 150,000 €.German businessman has been arrested in connection with the Hidalgo money laundering case in Marbella. Eighteen months after the case, based in the lawyers Cruz Conde, broke, police have now arrested a German businessman based on the Costa del Sol and have once again searched the offices of the Marbella lawyers Cruz Conde.The Anti-Corruption prosecutor is investigating the creation of 800 companies in the Cruz Conde offices, allegedly used to launder money from illicit origins.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

It is ludicrous that people on the Costa del Sol are getting winter fuel payments

Parliamentary investigation into fuel poverty is to investigate £12 million a year of winter fuel payments made to British pensioners living abroad. Michael Jack, chairman of the Select Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said the issue had emerged as a “key” area of concern in their inquiry. He said: “For many pensioners in the UK at the moment the winter fuel payment is the difference between turning on the heating or not. With the sharp rise in fuel bills we wish to check the deployment of this benefit and how effective it is. “It certainly seems very unusual that this remains a universal benefit, payable to every pensioner at 60 and is not even means-tested.” The select committee is expected to make recommendations about possible changes to the winter fuel payment scheme in a report to Ed Miliband, Energy and Climate Change Secretary, in the new year. Under official rules the £200 winter fuel allowance is paid to anyone living in Britain on their 60th birthday on a state pension, even if that person intends to retire or spend winter months in wamer countries. The payments rise to more than £300 for the over-80s. There is not even a requirement for the money to be used for heating bills. The payment is only made if British citizens move to one of the 29 countries in the European Economic Area. It is part of the European Union portable allowances scheme and cash is paid into overseas bank accounts. It does not apply to anyone moving to Commonwealth countries such as Australia, New Zealand or Canada, who have their pension and fuel payments frozen once they leave Britain. A coalition of pensioners’ groups is lobbying for these payments to some 50,000 Britons living abroad to be switched to help those at home struggling to pay bills to combat the cold. The Fuel Poverty Advisory Group (FPAG) claims that gas and electricity bills in Cyprus, for example, which enjoys some 300 days of sunshine a year, are £500 cheaper than in Britain. Derek Lickorish, chairman of the group, is angry about the inequity of the payments and is to speak against them when he gives evidence to the MPs’ inquiry on Monday.
“We are urging the Government to review its policy. Many of these countries do not even get cold in the winter months yet the payments are automatic. And many of the pensioners who receive this cash are higher rate taxpayers - the wealthy - and they have less need for them.” He added: “Obviously there will always be extreme circumstances in which some pensioners living abroad will be in need of funds for winter fuel but there is an overwhelming case for the payments to be better targetted.” Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, called for these payments to expatriates to be scrapped immediately. “It is ludicrous that people on the Costa del Sol are getting winter fuel payments,” he said. “These benefits are meant to help hard-up pensioners in Britain get through the winter, so they shouldn’t be paid to expats. It beggars belief that the taxpayer is forking out for all these people living it up overseas, who are taking us all for a ride.”
Pensioner couples such as Jim and Hilary Ross, of Rochester, Kent, have seen their own fuel bills rocket an extra £360 a year. This has effectively cancelled out the winter fuel payment sending them into fuel poverty. Any household spending 10 per cent or more of its income on gas and electricity is defined as fuel poor. Mrs Ross said: “The winter fuel payments do not help us as much as they could - they should be means-tested because clearly pensioners living in Cyprus or Spain are not going to be as cold as us. It just doesn’t seem fair.” Any change will have to win the backing of Gordon Brown. The issue is a cross-departmental matter between Ed Miliband responsible for energy and James Purnell, Work and Pensions Secretary, whose staff make the payments to pensioners.
A spokesman for the Department of Work and Pensions said: “It is a universal benefit. The majority of people receiving the payment need and appreciate the financial assistance. There are strict eligibility rules and people must be 60 to qualify. It cannot be claimed by anyone aged 58 or 59 who takes early retirement and goes to live abroad. It is also only paid to former UK residents living in the European Economic Area or Switzerland if they qualified for it before leaving the UK.”

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Spanish property developer said Tuesday it will hold a raffle to unload 31 apartments near Barcelona

Spanish property developer said Tuesday it will hold a raffle to unload 31 apartments near Spanish property developer said Tuesday it will hold a raffle to unload 31 apartments near Barcelona which have been difficult to sell amid a collapse in the real estate market.Tickets for the raffle cost 50 euros (63 dollars) and they will go on sale on Wednesday, a spokesman for developer Grupo de Empresas Rob told AFP.The company hopes to sell 7,000 raffle tickets for each apartment which will be awarded, meaning it would raise 350,000 euros per dwelling.If the developer does not sell at least 6,500 tickets for a particular apartment, the raffle will not go ahead for that property and participants will receive a refund.The raffle, which will be supervised by a notary, will be held in the coming months, the spokesman said.
All of the apartments -- which are between 50 and 90-square metres (970-square feet) -- are all located on the same street in the Barcelona suburb of Santa Coloma de Gramenet.After a decade-long boom, Spain's property market began to slump last year due to rising interest rates, oversupply and tougher lending conditions introduced in the wake of the global credit crunch.Property sales declined 28.2 percent during the first nine months of this year compared with the same period of 2007, national statistics institute INE said last week.The drop in sales has led developers to come up with innovative promotions to try to sell properties.In October another Spanish developer, Salsa Immobiliaria, offered a one bedroom apartment to anyone who bought one of its four-bedroom townhouses near the beach in Terrazas de Miraflores on the Costa del Sol.In May a man who could not meet mortgage payments on his apartment near Madrid tried to organise a raffle to unload it but he had to call off the contest because he failed to get the proper authorisation.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Spanish police said Monday they had arrested 40 people in nationwide raids as part of an operation against Internet child pornography

Spanish police said Monday they had arrested 40 people in nationwide raids as part of an operation against Internet child pornography in which 25,000 photographs and over 9,000 videos were seized.Another 35 people who are suspected of owning and exchanging pornographic images involving minors over the Internet were placed under investigation, they said in a statement.Police launched their investigation in February after receiving a complaint from a man who said he had accidentally downloaded pornographic images involving children from an Internet site.Spanish police have stepped up their fight against Internet paedophile pornography, aided by Hispalis, a computer programme that provides the names and addresses of Internet users accessing illegal child pornography sites.Over the past five years, over 1,200 people have been detained as part of investigations into Internet child pornography.

Spain's police have unveiled the plans of the Georgian-born crime boss Zakhar Kalashov

Spain's police have unveiled the plans of the Georgian-born crime boss Zakhar Kalashov, who was trying to influence the judiciary and free him from the Spanish prison. Spanish newspaper ABC reports that Kalashov has created a whole structure which had to work on his release from prison, just the way he used to do in Russia. Oleg Vorontsov and Alexander Golfshtein were the key figures in this secret plan. Vorontsov was the first advisor of Russia's ex-president Yeltsin years ago.As the author of the article reports, Golfstein brought a very serious amount of money collected from Russian criminal network to Spain, which had to be spent on the release of the crime-boss Kalashov. Kalashov was arrested in Dubai in 2006, as he was returning from a 'congress' of criminal authorities.

Michael Wilks was arrested by Spanish police after 500 kilos of cannabis worth £1.5million was seized.

Michael Wilks, 34, of Barking is being held along with four others thought to be part of a trafficking ring trying to smuggle drugs into the UK.Amanda Goodwin, 48, from Brighton, David Mead, 45, of Beckenham, Martin James Veryard, 39, and a Romanian man were also arrested.The huge stash of cannabis was found in compressed blocks in the back of a van in Benijofar, south of Alicante in Spain.After discovering the drugs armed officers swooped on an address in El Garrucha in Murcia, a stolen luxury car and a gun were found at the property.Spanish police said the operation, codenamed Rostel, was part of a sting on a common drug trafficking route from north Africa to south Spain.All five suspects are awaiting trial in Spain on crimes against public health; the foreign office was unable to comment.

Seizure of cocaine worth over one million pounds from a fishing vessel co-owned by Spanish and local company.

The fishing vessel, “Venturer”, is currently anchored in Port Williams, outside the capital Stanley, next to another trawler belonging to the same company.

Royal Falkland Islands Police confirmed that they had made a seizure of cocaine worth over one million pounds from a fishing vessel co-owned by Spanish and local company. Falklands’ Chief Police Officer Paul Elliot said that a joint operation involving the Falkland Islands Customs and Immigration Department, the JSPSU Dog Section and the Royal Falkland Islands Police resulted in the arrest of six foreign seamen and the seizure of a large quantity of a class A drug, namely over 30 kilos of cocaine with an estimate street value of over one million pounds (1.6 million US dollars).Apparently the drug was sniffed by a dog which has a previous live find.
Mr. Elliot reported that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are aware of the catch and have informed the appropriate British authorities.A representative from the local Falklands’ company Fortuna, Stuart Wallace made a brief statement on the incident: A number of employees of one of our group companies have been arrested in connection with the possession of an illegal drug.Mr. Wallace said that the Company is of course co-operating fully with the ongoing investigation being carried out by the relevant authorities.Reliable Falklands’ sources have said that as the tightening of routes from cocaine producing areas to Europe via United States and the Caribbean, “we shouldn’t be surprised these things happen, but I believe the Falklands are prepared for such a challenge”.The Falklands main source of income is fisheries, particularly squid most of which is transhipped in the Islands or in the Uruguayan port of Montevideo for export to Europe.Recently Uruguayan authorities working on tips from the US and Spain busted an international organization that sent illegal drugs taking advantage of frozen fish exports from the port of Montevideo to Spain.

Police in Spain are investigating $125,000 in missing designer jewelry last seen on Winona Ryder


It seems that the Police in Spain are investigating $125,000 in missing designer jewelry last seen on Winona Ryder at an event on Sunday. She was loaned an incredible Bulgari bracelet and ring to wear to a Marie Claire event in Spain last weekend. Now the jewelry is apparently missing.Supposedly Winona left the diamond encrusted bracelet and ring in an envelope and handed them to front desk staff at her Madrid hotel. But closed circuit TV doesn’t show her returning anything.
And even though Winona was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in 2001 and there was this incident with a CVS Pharmacy, police are not considering Winona a suspect in the jewelry case at this time.

Aifos, a holiday home developer based in Marbella, has been forced into receivership by one of its creditors

Aifos, a holiday home developer based in Marbella, has been forced into receivership by one of its creditors , the Spanish press reports.The company is reported to have 850 million Euros of debt, which would make it one of the biggest developers to date to go into administration, after Martinsa-Fadesa and Tremon. Its biggest creditor is Banco Popular, which it reportedly owes 200 million Euros, followed by Banco Pastor, which it owes 150 million Euros, though Banco Pastor claims its exposure to Aifos is only around 30 million Euros.Gestión de Obras y Reformas Ltd, one of Aifos’s suppliers and creditors, started bankruptcy proceedings against Aifos last week in a court in Malaga. Press reports speculate that the failure of the Spanish developer Tremon might have prompted the bankruptcy proceedings against Aifos.Aifos, one of the biggest developers in Andalucia, has been on course for liquidity problems since 2006, when it was caught up in Operation Malaya, a police operation against municipal corruption. Jesús Ruiz Casado, the owner of Aifos, and Jenaro Briales, the then MD, were arrested on the suspicion of paying bribes. Aifos is also accused of unethical conduct by many of its clients, and has serious, unresolved client problems at many of its developments, some of which have been illegally built.
Aifos’s frustrated clients, some of whom made stage payments 7 or more years ago and still have no home to show for their payments, will need to keep a close eye on proceedings if they wish to avoid losing all hope of recovering their money.

Spanish leader General Francisco Franco's daughter has revealed that her father feared that Adolf Hitler would kidnap him

Spanish leader General Francisco Franco's daughter has revealed that her father feared that Adolf Hitler would kidnap him to force Spain into the Second World War.
Carmen Franco Polo, 82, said that her father had even nominated three substitutes to assume power at a conference in 1940, just in case he was actually abducted by the Nazi leader. She has written about her life with El Caudillo in her book 'Franco, My Father', published in Spain on Friday. The only daughter of General Franco, who ruled Spain for about four decades, also reveals that her father ordered troop reinforcements to the coast at the end of the Second World War because he believed that the Allies would invade his country. According to her, her father thought that he had a good relationship with British leader Winston Churchill during the war, but did not get on with the then US President Franklin Roosevelt.She even describes Roosevel's wife, Eleanor, in novel terms. The Americans liked my father but not Roosevelt, whose wife was very pro-Communist, Times Online quoted her as writing in the book. Carmen said that the reason why her father liked the British was his belief that they were law-abiding. He admired England a lot, especially the people, because they did what they had to do and obeyed the law. This he found very admirable, she said. She said that when Franco went to meet Hitler in 1940 in Hendaye, a French town on the Spanish border, he was afraid that Hitler could kidnap him just like Napoleon had kidnapped Spanish King Carlos IV in 1808 during peace talks.It was due to that fear, she added, that her father had nominated a general and two others to assume control of the country should he be kidnapped.
She revealed that Franco angered Hitler by refusing to enter the Second World War, and found their meeting a bad-tempered affair. To my father it seemed very, very different. When they talked it didn't have the good atmosphere which happened with a later meeting with Mussolini, she wrote.Carmen's book consists of a series of interviews with the Spanish historian Jesus Palacios and Stanley G. Payne, an American expert on Spain. She has also mixed her own memories about world events with reminiscences about day-to-day life

Gangland leader Allan Foster is now believed to be hiding in Spain.

Former Northumbria Police officer has been found guilty of passing on police information to a murder suspect. Newcastle Crown Court was told that Det Con John Jones became the "eyes and ears" of gangland leader Allan Foster. The court heard his actions meant that Mr Foster, wanted for the killing of a South Tyneside drug dealer, could stay one step ahead of the law. Jones, from Seaham in County Durham, was found guilty of four charges of misconduct in a public office. He will be sentenced on Wednesday. The jury heard that Jones began associating with Mr Foster, who worked out at the same gym. At one point they went to London for a night out in London involving prostitutes and cocaine. After the murder of David "Noddy" Rice in South Shields in 2006, Mr Foster, now 32, was able to stay one step ahead of the authorities and spirit himself out from the country. He is now believed to be hiding in Spain. After he was arrested, Jones told officers he associated with Mr Foster in all innocence, but accepted he had been foolish. Det Supt Ian Daws, head of the Northumbria Police Integrity Unit, said the corruption investigation began soon after Mr Rice was killed. He said: "Witnesses were refusing to speak to detectives because they believed Allan Foster had 'a cop on the payroll'. "Jones' failure to respond to the request for information in the murder investigation severely impaired the progress of that case in its early stages." Det Supt Barbara Franklin said: "We are still actively seeking Allan Foster and would ask anyone with information to contact the police."

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