Two young men died in a selfie accident after falling 12 meters from the seaside promenade in Orihuela, in Alicante province. The accident took place around 7:30pm on July 3.
The Britons of 21 and 22 years old were strolling along the promenade overlooking Punta Prima beach with a third friend, who is 20, when they decided to take a selfie. Two of them lost their balance and have fallen down on the rocks below, according to the Spanish Civil Guard.
One of the friends died instantly. The other passed away on July 4 in Alicante General Hospital after being admitted in critical condition. The surviving the accident man, who did not fall, but was witness to his friends death, was treated for anxiety.
The victims fell over the railing from the promenade and landed on top of a lifesaver’s station. Local authorities underlined that the railing and promenade are in “perfect condition,” and said that the Civil Guard is investigating the incident, which appears to have been caused by imprudence.
A 2018 study of news reports showed that between October 2011 to November 2017, there were 259 selfie deaths in 137 incidents reported globally, with the highest occurrences in India followed by Russia, United States, and Pakistan (Himalaya mountains).
A Spanish criminal network trafficking rare animals has been dismantled by the Spanish Guardia Civil after more than 600 reptiles from the Americas, Africa, Asia and Oceania were found. Nine people have been arrested and seven, suspected members of the criminal network, are under investigation. (Image: illustration)
Members of the criminal group bought the animals from Australia, the Fiji Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Oman and South Africa, then illegally transported them to Spain.
This operation was aided by Europol, which provided analytical and operational support to all Member States involved. Europol assisted Guardia Civil officers by deploying a team to Spain with a mobile office and UFED extraction capabilities on the internationally-coordinated action day, providing them with real-time intelligence analysis and forensic support. This helped to identify transnational links with other serious and organised crimes. Overall law enforcement authorities from 17 countries worldwide were involved in the operation.
The Spanish Guardia Civil, with the support of Europol and in close cooperation with Mexico, has carried out Operation SUZAKU, resulting in 29 arrests in Spain and in other countries. All of the arrestees have been charged with crimes of smuggling, wildlife crime and animal abuses, as well as being part of a criminal infrastructure.
Over 2,000 animal were seized during Operation SUKAZU, and the expected benefits that could have been obtained by the trafficking of species have been estimated to be above half a million euro. International trafficking of species is identified as a priority in the fight against organised crime within the EU Policy Cycle for the next four years.
The organised crime group controlled a network of operators, who were transporting birds of a large variety of species to Spain from different places in Africa and Latin America by using mules. International collaboration has taken place with police authorities and other bodies from 18 different countries.
Using various concealment techniques, the criminal group trafficked birds that are classified under different types of protection and that were included in the CITES Convention and in the national protection laws of the countries of origin. Many of the birds died during the transit and sometimes the death rate reached 50%. The criminal group used several points of entry in Spain, using the airports of Madrid-Barajas, Pamplona and Bilbao.
Operation SUZAKU has been mainly carried out by the Nature Protection Service (SEPRONA) of the Guardia Civil. Europol supported the operation and facilitated the exchange of operational information. AMERIPOL coordinated the activities with the different Latin American countries involved.
An individual was arrested in Madrid, Spain, on suspicion of radicalisation and for dissemination of jihadist terrorist propaganda via the internet. The investigation which was supported by Europol for more than a year was led by the Spanish Guardia Civil.
The arrested person, of Moroccan origin and a resident in Spain, used his computer know-how to anonymously access radical jihadist content that is considered difficult to find by an average Internet user. Whilst under surveillance, he had shown a high level of radicalization in his closed circle, and demonstrated a full adherence to the postulates of terrorist groups, fully justifying their violent actions.
During the action days, two experts from Europol’s European Counter Terrorism Centre were deployed to Madrid (Spain) to provide on-the-spot support. This enabled real-time information exchange, and cross-checks of the data gathered against Europol’s databases.
On 15 March 2017, the Spanish Guardia Civil supported by Europol, arrested in Girona, Spain, a Moroccan national suspected of helping finance the terrorist group Islamic State (IS).
The arrested, aged 43, was under investigation for participating, along with two of his brothers arrested in July 2016, in a complex financial scheme which involved sending funds to IS fighters in Syria and Iraq through money transfer agencies.
Europol has supported Guardia Civil on-the-spot by deploying two terrorist experts to Girona to crosscheck the data found against Europol’s databases in real-time.
The investigation began in 2016 when investigators detected a network that sent funds to IS fighters. The presence of a family member in Syria motivated the rest of the brothers to raise funds and later send the money to Syria by using a complex network of intermediaries. The criminals sent small amounts of money in an attempt to go unnoticed by the Spanish law enforcement authorities.