Kidnapper detained on European arrest warrant

Europol headquarters, The Hague, Netherlands

A 36-YEAR-OLD Lithuanian man has been arrested in Las Tortugas, Marbella, on a warrant issued by his home country.

The man is now awaiting a hearing at the Court of Central Instructions after he allegedly worked with another person to stop a driver, kidnap them and demand a ransom.

He was arrested at his home in Marbella by the Provincial Police, whom he initially told he was Bulgarian.  After being unable to provide any documents to prove his nationality, police carried out an identity check and ascertained he was wanted under European arrest warrant and detained him.

The arrest comes following a spate of similar events in which Spanish police have foiled foreign criminals hiding out on the Costa del Sol.

Last month, the leader of Russia’s largest drug trafficking gang in Estoniawas arrested in Mijas following a joint operation between Spanish and Estonian police.

The Estonian authorities began investigating the gang more than two years ago but stepped up their work after the leader of the Russian criminal world in Estonia was assassinated by an accountant in September 2016, sparking a violent turf war.

Police believe the man moved to Spain to avoid falling victim to assassination in the wake of increasing gang violence in Estonia, as well as to establish a power base there for drug trafficking, money laundering and other crimes.

The Spanish and Estonian authorities soon started working together, investigating the gang’s activities in Spain, and ascertaining its leader was issuing orders to members in Estonia.  Officers searched the man’s house and found accounting documents, hidden cash, computers, an axe and a large knife hidden under his pillow.

Meanwhile in June, a 39-year-old Danish man was arrested in Fuengirola for sexual exploitation of minors.

The man turned himself to officers sitting in their vehicle, explaining he was tired of living on the run.  The police proceeded to check the man’s identity, and on finding out he was wanted on a European arrest warrant, arrested him.

In addition to his sexual crimes, which involve sexual contact with an underage person and sexually assaulting a woman, as well as scamming a total of €73,138 from his victims, buying mobile phones, cars, bank loans and other goods with the money.  He is also believed to have stolen €6,327 in money and jewellery across his burglaries.  If convicted, he faces eight years in prison under Danish law.

The same month, a 51-year-old Latvian man has been arrested in Torremolinos for drug trafficking after becoming the subject of a European arrest warrant put together by police in France for his alleged involvement in transporting drugs between Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and France, where he lived until September 2011.

The accused, who is originally from Latvia’s capital, Riga, was detained by police in Torremolinos after emerged he was running a restaurant near Calle Dean Juan Espino.

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