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TRAFFICKING RING SMASHED IN JOINT SPAIN/UK OPERATION

The hub of the operation is said to be Madrid

In an operation involving Spain’s National Police and the British Border Police, 24 people have been arrested, 13 in Spain and 11 in the UK, mostly from the same family, in a human trafficking network originating in Madrid

Those arrested were allegedly smuggling Afghan nationals, into several European countries, in exchange for 25,000 euros

By using falsified travel documents and accompanied by a “facilitator” the refugees would take a flight from Islamabad (Pakistan), transiting through Spain or Italy, before being transferred from there to other European states.

The investigations began when six illegal Afghans were discovered in Bilbao Airport as traffickers attempted to smuggle them into the country. National Police Agents soon realized they were closing in on a criminal network that was based in Spain, with a leader of Pakistani origin, who was coordinating activities throughout Europe from Madrid.

He allegedly managed the gang’s logistics, and reinvested the proceeds of his activities in Spanish businesses in order to launder the money illegally obtained.

After recruiting Afghans who each paid 25,000 euros to the operation a facilitator would move groups of between 6 and 12 refugees from Pakistan into Spain or Italy. He would be responsible for handling all travel logistics including airline tickets, fake passports, hotels and any other issues that might arise.
From there the victims would be issued with false documentation with which they would be moved on to their final European destination.

As the investigation progressed, police found that, quite often, the organization used to London Heathrow as airport transit prior to their arrival in Spain, so contact was made with the British Border Police, who proceeded to arrest of 11 people, a Pakistani and 10 Afghans traveling with false passports.

The arrests saw an immediate change of routing by the network which had to immediately reorganize its travel system in order to avoid Heathrow, opting for direct travel from Islamabad to Barcelona.

With this information, the National Police began to identify and locate other members of the organization resulting in the arrest of 13 people, including the leader of the group.

A number of homes and commercial establishments were raided in which 18 forged British and Spanish passports were found, 20 Pakistani passports, fake UK visas, passport pages with exit stamps, computers and mobile phone were seized along with bank documents and cash.

A search was also carried out in a Logrono travel agency, where officers found numerous documents which revealed the existence of more than 170 trafficked trips between April and September 2014 amounting to US $ 4,250,000.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47456/

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‘FORMBY’S LOST LOVE’

Formby Vellum Feature

THE George Formby Society has given recognition to the book, ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ – by Los Montesinos author Andrew Atkinson – telling the life story of fiancee, Pat Howson.

World renowned ‘The Vellum’ magazine – the official magazine of the George Formby Society – features ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ in their Summer 2015 Edition.

“I am delighted ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ has been given recognition within ‘The Vellum’ magazine with a full colour page feature,” said author Andrew, who has a property in Los Montesinos, Alicante.

‘Formby’s Lost Love’ tells the previously untold life story of ukulele legend Formby’s fiancee, Preston, Lancashire lass Pat Howson, whom the Wigan born star was set to marry, prior to his death of a heart attack.

Britain’s biggest star of the 1940s-50s Formby was engaged to Pat in 1961, but died, aged 56, weeks prior to their wedding in March 1961. Religious Education teacher Pat, died, aged 46, from ovarian cancer, in November 1971.

Formby was engaged to Pat, just weeks after Formby’s wife Beryl’s death in December 1960.
“The final manuscript of ‘Formby’s Lost Love’ has been sent to a London, Canary Wharf based publisher, upon their request, with the hope of a contract for publication,” said Andrew.

‘Formby’s Lost Love’ featured in The Vellum Summer 2015 issue – the official magazine of the George Formby Society

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47437/

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NEW SAMARITANS IN SPAIN FREE PHONE NUMBER 900 525 100

Thanks to the generous donations by their supporters Samaritans in Spain are now delighted to be able to provide a free phone number from 1st June. It is 900 525 100

Anyone in need of emotional support can call 24/7 to speak to a trained listener free of charge. All calls are confidential.

More information can be found at www.samaritansinspain.com

For the diary Samaritan’s in Spain have a Summer Fayre at their Punta Marina Centre on Saturday 6th June from 10am to 6pm. Sunshine F.M will be entertaining all day with surprise live performers. The fun day will include a fashion show, tombola, cake stall, Indian head massages and much more. Come along with all the family!

Other forthcoming events include restaurants The Vestry (Algorfa) and The Cloisters (San Miguel) hosting Ladies Day at Ascot lunches simultaneously on 18th June. Gentleman are also welcome.Proceeds go to support the work of the Samaritans.

In July the Samaritans will be raising awareness and support for youth issues and are grateful to local rock band “Snowblind” and the Lansdowne at Playa Flamenca for their generous help with an event there 31st July. More details to be announced!

In addition to the new Freephone service there is also an email contact point: pat@samaritansinspain.com

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/47429/

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