Police in Spain arrest 16 in olive farms heist

Thieves operating in Las Vegas, a rural area near Spain's capital Madrid, managed to steal 17.5 tonnes of olives from local farms before being busted, police said Friday as they confirmed 16 arrests.

Police in Spain arrest 16 in olive farms heist
Spain police arrest 16 in olive heist. Photo: MARTIN BERNETTI / AFP

“The Guardia Civil has arrested and investigated 21 people behind the theft of 17,500 kilogrammes of olives in the Las Vegas region,” police said, indicating 16 had been arrested and five others investigated.

In total, they robbed six farms in the Las Vegas area, a rural region that lies southeast of the Spanish capital.

The investigation began in January when a farmer complained about the theft of 8,400 kilogrammes of olives from his land, with police making the link with other similar incidents in the area involving “significant quantities of olives”.

In early February, they were alerted to the presence of five people in a vehicle carrying 140 kilogrammes of olives in broad daylight, but none of them could prove they were legally acquired.

Investigators then raided two olive presses in the Toledo and Guadalajara regions that were allegedly receiving the stolen fruit, arresting those in charge.

In total, investigators found documentation relating to the exchange of more than 17.5 tonnes of stolen olives and seized several tanks containing more than 6,000 litres of olive oil.

The detainees, aged between 20 and 57, have been charged with a variety of offences including theft, fraud and receiving stolen goods.

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Spain hotel worker detained for racism against Moroccan national team

Police in Spain have arrested an employee of a Madrid hotel for allegedly posting racist comments on social media against Morocco's national football team which is staying there.

Spain hotel worker detained for racism against Moroccan national team

The 27-year-old Spanish national was detained at the hotel at around midnight on Sunday and he faces possible hate crime charges, a spokeswoman for Madrid’s municipal police force said.

Officers were sent to the hotel following a complaint by the managers of the hotel about the racist comments posted online, she added without giving further details.

Spanish media published photos which the man alleged posted to his Instagram which showed several members of Morocco’s squad in the hotel dining room along with racist comments.

The hotel worker reportedly later deleted the posts from his Instagram account and apologised online before he was arrested.

Reports about the online posts sparked outrage in Morocco, which earlier this month joined Spain and Portugal in a bid to host the 2030 World Cup.

Morocco will face Peru in a friendly match on Tuesday at Atletico Madrid’s Metropolitano stadium.