Matt Ford

Matt Ford

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BRITISH holidaymakers in Mallorca are being enticed by gangs of prostitutes offering cheap sex before being robbed at knife point.

The women are described as ‘mostly foreign’ and are believed to be singling out drunk revellers as they head back to their hotels after partying in Magaluf.

And reports suggest the gangs are luring the victims with promises of sex for €10 before they are led down dark alleyways and held up after being surrounded.

An unidentified Scottish teen alleges that he had €500 stolen, as he told UK media: “I was so drunk I didn’t really know what I was doing.

“They grabbed my arm and led me down this alleyway.

“Once I was there a few of them appeared and robbed me blind.”

A 24-year-old holiday rep added: “It’s like running the gauntlet back to your hotel now – all the women wait at the end of the strip to pick people off.

“They’re increasingly aggressive and don’t take no for an answer.”

Dad-of-two Michael Taylor, 28, was last year approached by a group of African women before being stabbed in the leg and knocked unconscious.

He woke up in hospital with eight stitches to find that his mobile phone and €200 in cash were missing.

He said at the time: “Ten African women came out from behind some trees.

“They were trying to get me to pay for sex.

“When I refused one of them stuck a knife in my thigh. They were stronger than men and remorseless. It was terrifying.”

A volunteer from charity Street Angels, a Christian organisation set up to help people in trouble on nights out, three years ago told told the Belfast Telegraph: “There are a lot of muggings that go on in Magaluf but it’s usually African women who prey on drunk male tourists.

“There can be quite a lot of them and they just loiter around waiting for boys on their own and then they link arms with them and pretend they are helping them back to their hotel or whatever before mugging them.”

FOREIGN residents on the Costa del Sol have come together to discuss the benefits of joining the civil register, or padron.

It comes as Marbella Mayor Angeles Muñoz hosted an informative and valuable meeting with the presidents of associations based in her city.

The well-attended get together, to which the Euro Weekly News was invited, was held at the Adolfo Suarez Conference Centre, which features an impressive new foreign residents’ department.

Ms. Muñoz said: “Our foreigners’ department, with its new headquarters, aims to offer an information service to the community and provide a link between citizens and the local administration.

“We are at your service.”

And the official went on to stress that she considers it “essential” that expatriates in Marbella, and by extension throughout Spain, should sign onto their local civil registers “on the first day they arrive,” since “the more people registered, the more money the government gives us to spend on public services.”

She emphasised that the register has “absolutely nothing to do” with applying for fiscal residence or to pay taxes in Spain, since it is “a local census, which is not even physically connected to national databases, there is literally no relation between the two.”

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The mayor added that there are 143 nationalities currently resident in Marbella, and that the council is “organising a series of activities to celebrate different national holidays, plus conferences and information days to help them to adapt to their lives here…we want them to be an integral part of our city.”

Other speakers included Cristobal Garre and Carlos Alcala, councillors for Nueva Andalucia and Las Chapas, respectively, plus foreign residents department chief Oti Gª Diaz-Ambrona.

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A BRITISH expatriate teacher has been hailed for her fighting spirit after refusing to give up on her lost car key.

Mum-of-two Michelle Corin, 42, who has lived in Altea for most of her 18 years in Spain, had been out for a day on the beach and made a stop in Albir on her way home.

But as she secured the seatbelts of four-year-old daughter, Sianna Rose and son, Keyen, 11, her only key slid out of the car and down a nearby drain.

Speaking exclusively to the Euro Weekly News, Devon-born Michelle said:

“My original key snapped in the ignition a few months ago and it was a nightmare to get a new one from the States as I drive an old Chevrolet.

“It cost me €600 to replace, so I really didn’t want to lose the new one!”

And her plight soon drew the attention of local bar and shop-owners, one of who called the police.

“They weren’t taking me too seriously but eventually attached a magnet to some rope before one of them lifted up a manhole cover and climbed down, but he refused to go into the tunnel under the road,” Michelle said. “Then it started raining so I plugged the drain with plastic bags and called the fire brigade.”

But two firefighters were unable to help and told her the keys had been washed into the sea after it started to rain.

“After three hours I got a lift home very upset and thought right, I’m going to get those keys back!” she smiled.

And the next morning she returned, lifting up the manhole cover with her bare hands and again attracting a crowd before leaping into the abyss with a torch between her teeth.

She said: “I potholed through the disgusting slime and after a few minutes saw the keys wedged behind a lump of tarmac, I was so relieved and happy despite the cuts and bruises.”

A friend added: “Michelle is amazing, what a warrior!”

 

A YOUNG Scotsman remains trapped on the Costa del Sol eight months after he was held on drug charges he describes as “ludicrous.”

Computer engineer Robbie Miller, 24, was arrested after a cannabis farm was discovered at the property where he was renting a room in La Linea de la Concepcion, Cadiz.

But he had only moved into the flat four days earlier and the plants were already mature, making it impossible that he grew them.

He was released on bail but had his passport seized while he waits for a judge to study his case, which he fears could take a year. And a detailed dossier of evidence, seen by the Euro Weekly News, appears to validate his story.

His mum - who is on benefits in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire - is sending money allowing him to rent a small flat in Malaga, but he is otherwise penniless and unable to get a job or return home.

A dejected Robbie said: “I’m at my wits’ end. It’s ludicrous to think I could have grown a load of plants that were 2m high when police came round.

“I had only moved in four days earlier and my passport will show I arrived in Spain 15 days before I was arrested.

“No one has properly considered the case. No judge or jury could ever find me guilty.”

The British Consulate offered to provide temporary travel documents when Robbie appealed for help, but warned he could be jailed if his bail conditions changed.

Robbie arrived in Spain, with his boarding passes verifying he travelled on October 5.

He went to La Linea in the hope of finding work in Gibraltar, and Facebook screen grabs show he contacted a British biker by the name of Simon of St Peter Pendragon on October 15.

He moved into a room in the landlord’s flat on October 16, before police raided the property four days later, seizing cannabis plants weighing 7kg and jailing Robbie.

Additional screenshots confirm that Mr Pendragon even offered to visit police and protest the Scot’s innocence in the wake of his arrest, although it is unclear if he did so.

Of the British Consulate’s assistance, he added: “They said they can’t intervene in the legal jurisdiction of Spain but they will seek to get my passport back.

“They sent me a waiver that says the bail conditions could change, which covers their back if I get remanded in custody prior to a trial.”

Mum Alison told Scottish media: “The charges against Robbie are a joke.”

 

A BRITISH man on the run for armed robbery and known to have at least 75 false identities has been held on the Costa del Sol.

The unnamed suspect was detained in Marbella on a European Arrest Warrant after being stopped by a Spanish National Police patrol just after 2am.

And when he handed over his fake identification it became clear that he was being hunted by UK investigators after being accused of raiding a series of armoured vehicles plus possession of illegal weapons and explosives before going on the run.

He was cuffed and charged with presenting false documents on the spot but reportedly offered €500 to the officers if they let him go, resulting in an additional bribery rap.

A judge in Madrid ordered via video conference that he be remanded in custody ahead of extradition proceedings.

More to follow.

A SPANISH doctor has warned young British holidaymakers to keep dangerous hotel stunts in check.

In a video produced by the UK’s Foreign Office, surgeon Juan Jose Segura Sampedro from Son Espases Hospital in Palma de Mallorca urges revellers to stop jumping between balconies.

It comes after research revealed that more Britons are hurt or killed trying to pull off the risky move than any other nationality.

The medic blames British drinking culture after his survey into ‘balconing’ - where people leap or climb from one terrace to another - found that 61 per cent of those injured were British, while the average age of victims was 24, with 97 per cent men.

In the footage, he says: “The typical story is a guy, probably 19, 20 years old that has come here [Mallorca] with some friends and they are having fun, they are drinking maybe a bit more than usual and they get into a fight or they take risky behaviours (sic) like climbing from one balcony to another or jumping into a pool.

“Normally, the most frequent accident is going to be a spine injury, and even more severe a head or neck trauma.

“The problem here is not to ruin a holiday, the problem here is you are going to ruin your life.”

And in an earlier conference on the subject the doctor revealed that “in 98 per cent of cases the victim had drunk large amounts of alcohol, and in one in four they also tested positive for cannabis or other drugs.”

Two young Britons have already died after plunging from balconies in Mallorca this year.

Natalie Cormack, 19, from North Ayshire in Scotland, was last month killed after plummeting from the sixth floor of a Magaluf building.

She was trying to cross to her flat from a neighbour’s terrace after leaving her keys at the bar she worked at.

In March Sheffield Hallam University student James Walton, 23, from Ealing in London, died when he fell four floors to the street in Palma after a St. Patrick’s Day party with friends.

HOLIDAYMAKERS have been warned of a rental car scam in Spain.

Drivers on the AP-7 motorway are reportedly being targeted by thieves who flag them down after claiming to have spotted a flat tyre.

They are signalled to pull over before having their belongings stolen while distracted.

American tourist Kelly Roland said: “We were driving back from Cadeques to Barcelona when a mid-size BMW [with a few guys in it] pulled up next to us on the highway.

She explained that a man in the front passenger seat was pointing at her front tyre and pointing to a service station ahead.

After she stopped her friend got out to look and the man came over “speaking loudly in broken English” before Kelly herself joined them.

“Now all three of us are looking at the passenger-side tyre. And you can see there’s nothing wrong with it.”

“[Later] I realised he had been talking loud so we didn’t hear the doors opening and closing.”

She added that one of the man’s friends had sneaked over and removed their bags while they were distracted.

And when she reported the incident to police she was told they had seen the ploy “one, two, maybe three thousand times before.”

Other criminals are less subtle and simply break the windows of rental cars before making off with whatever they can lay their hands on.

Police recommend removing rental stickers or signage from cars, regardless of whether the companies themselves approve, and keep all valuables out of sight, locking bags and other items in the boot if leaving the vehicle unattended.

AN AER LINGUS flight to the Costa del Sol was forced to return to Dublin after a hare was sucked into one of the plane’s engines as it took off.

Flight EI-582 had 287 passengers on board as it departed for Malaga.

But soon after take-off the captain contacted air traffic control in the Irish capital to report that they had hit “two rabbits or hares” as they sped down the runway.

And after an inspection revealed a single dead hare on the tarmac, the Airbus A330-300 jet was told to turn around half an hour later as it approached the French coast, amid fears that the second animal's body had been drawn into an engine.

The cabin crew did not declare an emergency although fire fighters and engineers were standing by as the plane came into land.

A replacement aircraft is set to fly the holidaymakers to Spain later today (Friday).

An Aer Lingus official said: “Flight EI582 departed Dublin Airport this morning, en route to Malaga with 287 guests on board.

“The aircraft turned back less than one hour into the flight, due to a technical issue, and landed safely at Dublin at 9.52am.

“Guests disembarked normally and will be flown to Malaga this afternoon on a replacement aircraft. We apologise to our guests for this disruption to their travel plans.”

A BRITISH expatriate has been banned from leaving Mallorca after allegedly running over her ex-husband’s new girlfriend.

Mancunian Kemi Coaker, 29, was held in Magaluf after she mowed down Meghan Tattersall in broad daylight before speeding off.

Both women are said to live and work in the area.

Onlookers described how a ‘small white car’ mounted a pavement on calle Federico Garcia Lorca near the Punta Ballena party strip and ploughed into the 23-year-old.

She was taken to Son Espases Hospital in Palma with serious leg injuries after two police officers spotted a group of pedestrians surrounding her as she lay on the ground.

Ms Coaker, whose maiden name is Pereira, was arrested on the nearby Cala Vinyes housing estate half an hour later as she and a friend sat in a vehicle which matched witness descriptions.

Investigators say they are treating the incident as intentional after local media reported she had been lying in wait beforehand.

She has been released from custody after handing over her passport and agreeing to stay at least 500 metres away from Ms Tattersall, but could face an attempted homicide charge, police said in a statement.

Local media have named her ex and the victim’s current partner as Andrew Coaker, 39, from Reading in Berkshire.

He was not present at the time of the alleged attack.

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The incident took place on calle Federico Garcia Lorca in Magaluf.

AN Irish fugitive has been held in Spanish capital Madrid on a European Arrest Warrant.

The unnamed suspect was remanded in custody as he was about to flee to Brazil via Lisbon, Portugal.

He is reportedly wanted in his home country for the alleged abduction and rape of a young woman, and will now face extradition proceedings.

According to a National Police statement, the victim was bundled into a car by five men, but it is unclear whether the other four remain at large.

The operation was coordinated by the European Network of Fugitive Active Search Teams, dubbed ENFAST, a network of police officers on call 24 hours a day who are able to ‘immediately undertake action to locate and arrest fugitives.’

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