1000 years in prison for Somali pirates

Pirates being arrested
Pirates being arrested

Not long ago I remember laughing as I read how some Somali pirates had mistaken a Spanish naval ship for a private vessel or freighter and attacked it. Now I’m laughing at the sentence handed to them.

The six Somali “pirates” attacked the naval vessel from their 12ft wooden boat, after ignoring warnings from the military ship to “cease and desist”.

Now the alleged pirates are facing prison terms of up to 1,122 years! Yes, you read that correctly… 1,122 years.

The judge in charge of the case has indicted the men on 218 counts of kidnapping – one for each crew member on the naval ship. They are also charged with attempted piracy, disobeying orders from a military ship, causing bodily injury, membership of an illegal organisation and illegal possession of firearms.

The charges allege that the men attacked the Patiño, a combat stores ship which was on patrol in the Indian Ocean, after mistaking it for a private freighter or fishing vessel and ignoring the warnings from on board.

The potential sentences range from 893 to 1,122 years in prison.

Original article: Costa-News


Banus bar owners may face prison

The Public Prosecutor in Malaga is asking for sentences of three years each for the two owners of a Puerto Banus nightclub for excessive noise.

There have been multiple complaints made since 1999 when the nightclub opened. The complaints are mainly at weekends and holiday periods when residents living in apartments above the nightclub found it impossible to sleep and as a result have often suffered with health problems.

One complainant, who lives above the nightclub, measured noise levels in his apartment at 38.4 decibels, at 3.22am – the legal limit for noise is 30 decibels in Andalucia. Just under a month later an expert from the town hall also tested the noise levels recording 41 decibels at 2.25am.

According to the prosecution, the bar owners frequently turned off noise inhibitors in the early hours but continued to play loud music.

In addition to the prison terms the prosecutor is asking for €68,000 compensation to be awarded to the two residents most affected by the noise, and fines of €12,000 each for the two accused. The prosecutor also wants to ban the accused from working in similar businesses for three years.

Boiler room fraudsters sentanced

Marbella “boiler-rooms” have been springing up on the coast for many years. The plan is simple: setup an office, fit some phone lines, open the phone directory and start calling. Property, land, cars, stocks and much more have been touted by these criminals but time has been called for seven of these fraudsters.

Yesterday, a court in Ipswich, UK, sentenced staff and directors of Worldwide Bio Refineries to a total of 40 years in prison for their part in an £8m fraud.

The Spanish-based operation targeted investors in the UK using high pressure sales techniques to sell shares in the bio-diesel investment company.

Worldwide Bio Refineries was formed in 2003 by Dennis Potter, from Singapore, and Redmond “Ray” Charles Johnson. Potter received seven years for his part in the fraud. Johnson received three years after pleading guilty and assisting in the investigation. Both received a 12 year ban from acting as company directors.

Marbella based Steven Murphy and Greg Pearson both received six years imprisonment. Paul Murphy and Lee Homan, based in Hertfordshire, received six years and five and a half years respectively.

Londoner Peter Bibby is on the run and was tried and sentenced in his absence to six years imprisonment and a warrant was issued for his arrest.

WBR did have a processing plant in Co. Durham but produced no usable output and the company bank account reportedly contained a mere £20.

The presiding judge said “This was a well planned, sophisticated, and well executed fraud dressed up in the language of legitimate business.  It involved deliberate targeting of a particular group of investors.  The directors actions amount to a breach of trust of the investors. They had a long lasting effect on the victims who lost their savings.”