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Friday, 16 December 2016

Crime - Frontline Spain

There are 440 organised crime groups currently operating in Spain, according to the Guardia Civil and the National Police here.  For the whole of Europe, there are about 3,600 such groups. A sobering thought.

Ten of those identified in Spain are considered ‘high intensity’ groups, which translates as having at least twenty members operating for more than three years, are trans-national and are poly-criminals – (the latter has nothing to do with the theft of parrots, but means the individuals are involved in one main criminal activity but also linked to others).

Such operations can have large complex networks, extending across borders (where border controls apply, please note, EU). They often operate under an apparent cover of legitimacy.

One example is a 40-year-old Spanish businessman in the construction industry who was arrested for running a money-laundering network in tandem with drug trafficking. Other similar groups deal in fraud as well as drug trafficking, illegal immigration, prostitution, burglaries and car theft.

Such a poly-criminal group can be found in the pages of Blood of the Dragon Trees.

“Laura Reid likes her new job on Tenerife, teaching the Spanish twins Maria and Ricardo Chávez. She certainly doesn’t want to get involved with Andrew Kirby and his pal, Jalbala Emcheta, who work for CITES, tracking down illegal traders in endangered species. Yet she’s undeniably drawn to Andrew, which is complicated, as she’s also attracted to Felipe, the brother of her widower host, Don Alonso.

“Felipe’s girlfriend Lola is jealous and Laura is forced to take sides – risking her own life – as she and Andrew uncover the criminal network that not only deals in the products from endangered species, but also thrives on people trafficking. The pair are aided by two Spanish lawmen, Lieutenant Vargas of the Guardia Civil and Ruben Salazar, Inspector Jefe del Grupo de Homicidios de las Canarias.

“Very soon betrayal and mortal danger lurk in the shadows, along with the dark deeds of kidnapping and clandestine scuba diving…”

See the reviews on Amazon.

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