Gibraltars Offshore gambling sites on the Internet have revolutionized the sports betting industry

Gibraltars Offshore gambling sites on the Internet have revolutionized the sports betting industry. The offshore betting sites compete for the bettors’ money, and are constantly improving consumer services

Friday, 30 September 2011

Ferronats, a company formed by Spanish construction firm, Ferrovial and British air traffic controllers, Nats, has won 10 of the 13 tenders to run control towers at Spanish airports


Ferronats, a company formed by Spanish construction firm, Ferrovial and British air traffic controllers, Nats, has won 10 of the 13 tenders to run control towers at Spanish airports as AENA privatises 49% of the company. It will control Alicante, Valencia, Ibiza, Sabadell, Sevilla, Jerez, Melilla, Cuatro Vientos, Vigo and A Coruña. The remaining three towers on the Canary Islands at Lanzarote, Fuerteventura and La Palma have been awarded to the Sacerco company. AENA estimates savings of 46.6% as a result, with Ferronats bidding 70.4 million, and Sacerco bidding 20 million.

Iberia to launch new low cost airline next week


Iberia is planning to launch a new low cost airline next week. The Iberia board is expected to approve the project on Tuesday 4 October, to launch the low cost airline for the company’s short and medium distance services. The new airline is expected to take up 37 of the 69 A-320 aircraft the airline currently has in service. Iberia is now merged with British Airways to create the IAG, the International Airline Group, and the IAG board would have to ratify the decision on Thursday. Iberia has been holding talks with the pilots’ union SEPLA on the conditions for them in the new airline. The airline contends that it needs a structural reorganisation, but the union considers that all the flights should remain under the Iberia brand, and considers maintenance would be cheaper with a single company. An earlier leasing of six planes to Vueling, the budget airline with a 45.85% Iberia shareholding, proved unsuccessful with Iberia passengers complaining they were being put on Vueling flights. Five of those six planes are now back with Iberia. The expected name for the new airline, Iberia Express, was first mentioned back in October 2009.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Canadian gold diggers look to Coruña


Canadian company, Edgewater Exploration, are to reopen an old gold mine in Coruña and say they will employ 100 people in Cabanas de Bergantiños in the efforts to extract a million ounces of the metal. An ounce of gold is currently 1,800 € on the market. The Las Médulas mines have a long and distinguished past, and were responsible for ten percent of the Roman empire, as 96,000 kilos of gold was taken over 250 years as the Romans used thousands of slaves to find the metal. The new gold fever is the first in the area for 2,000 years. Despite their advanced plans the company is still waiting for a licence to proceed from the Xunta de Galicia.

Two British swimmers cross the Strait


British swimmers, Edward Thedore Cox and Frazer Lloyd-Jones managed to swim across the Strait of Gibraltar on Saturday. A third Briton, Richard Woodrup Skelhorn, had to abandon his attempt halfway, being unable to keep up with the other two. The two successful swimmers, both aged 34, left La Isla de Tarifa at 0910 and arrived at Punta Almansa at 1357, helped by calm seas and weak westerly winds. A Moroccan police patrol inspected the documentation of the participants without any problem on their arrival on the Moroccan coast.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

UBS CEO Gruebel resigns over rogue trading loss


UBS chief executive Oswald Gruebel has resigned over a $2.3 billion loss caused by rogue trading at its investment division, which is to be restructured now to prevent similar incidents in future, the Swiss bank said Saturday. Gruebel, who had come under heavy pressure from shareholders over the scandal, said he hoped his resignation would allow the bank to restore its reputation in the eyes of clients and investors. Article Controls EMAIL REPRINT NEWSLETTER SHARE "As CEO, I bear full responsibility for what occurs at UBS ( UBS - news - people )," he said in a memo to staff. "From my first day on the job I placed the reputation of the bank above all else. That is why I want to and must act according to my convictions." UBS Europe chief Sergio P. Ermotti will take over immediately as interim chief executive until Gruebel's replacement is appointed. Gruebel's departure caps 10 days of speculation over his future following the bank's announcement that a single London-based trader had evaded internal control systems and gambled away $2.3 billion. The trader, 31-year-old Kweku Adoboli, was arrested Sept. 15 and charged with fraud and false accounting. A judge ordered him Thursday to be held in jail until a hearing next month.

Irish firms named in gambling fraud case


TWO IRISH subsidiaries of online poker group Full Tilt are named as defendants in a case being taken by the US department of justice claiming that the company used player funds to pay $440 million to owners and board members. Earlier this week US attorney Preet Bharara filed a complaint with a New York court claiming that Full Tilt used $440 million in players’ funds to pay various sums to directors Raymond Bitar, Howard Lederer, Christopher Ferguson and Rafael Furst. Two Irish-based Full Tilt companies – Pocket Kings Ltd and Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd – are included in the list of defendants on the formal complaint filed by Mr Bharara earlier this week. Pocket Kings is based in Cherrywood in Dublin and provides software, IT, customer and management services to Full Tilt. It employs 800 people but recently warned that up to 250 of those jobs were under threat as Channel Island regulators have suspended its gambling licences, which in turn forced it to shut down its websites. Mr Bitar, who has an address in Bermuda, is named as a director of both companies. He is a shareholder in Pocket Kings Ltd and a director of Tiltware, a US entity which holds the entire issued share capital of Pocket Kings Consulting Ltd. Mr Bharara filed a motion to amend the original charges, filed last April, alleging that Full Tilt engaged in money laundering and bank fraud in the US. The attorney said this week that Full Tilt was not a “legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme” that cheated its own players and misled them about the safety of the funds that they had deposited with the company. His claim states that despite Full Tilt’s written assurances to all players that the money in their accounts is segregated from the company’s own operational accounts, this was not the case. He also claims that by the end of March, Full Tilt owed $390 million to players around the world, $150 million of it to players in the US, but had only $60 million in its bank accounts. In early June, Mr Lederer reported to others in the company that there was only about $6 million left. Later that month he warned that if there were a “run” of clients seeking the return of their cash, the company would have had problems meeting $5 million of those liabilities. According to Mr Bharara’s calculations, between April 2001 and 2011, Full Tilt and its board distributed $41 million to Mr Bitar, $42 million to Mr Lederer and $11.7 million to Mr Furst. Mr Ferguson was allocated $87.5 million in distributions, and received $25 million of this, while the rest was “owed” to him. “Much of the money that was distributed was transferred by the board members and owners to accounts in Switzerland and other overseas locations,” a statement issued by Mr Bharara’s office says. The court has not tried the allegations made by the US attorney. Mr Bharara’s statement points out that they are “accusations only”. A number of regulators, including Alderney’s Gambling Control Commission in the Channel Islands, have suspended Full Tilt’s licence. Alderney reviewed this at a private hearing in London this week.

Friday, 23 September 2011



The complex twists and turns of the gaming world have delievered a startling new dimension to the court case seeking to force Gibraltar’s Gaming Commissioner Phil Brear to release payments of some £825,000 to a set of gamblers he claims were party to a clever ruse that deprives them of their winnings. Papers submitted to the Supreme Court reveal that the claimants are relying on the reports of hired private detectives who followed Mr Brear and family around Gibraltar, at the Eliott Hotel, Gauchos and to meetings at Hassans, even apparently to Amar’s bakery for a snack and then to his second home in Sotogrande.   The private eye even noted what papers were being carried, clothes worn and the value of Mr Brear’s properties. Phone calls were made to Hassans offices to see if lawyers were in meetings when Mr Brear was there. The claimants are using this to support their suggestion that Mr Brear has not acted impartially towards them. JUDICIAL REVIEW Mr Brear is faced with a legal challenge in the form of an application for judicial review to the Supreme Court. A case management meeting yesterday has set this hearing down for December. The claimants seek not only to have Mr Brear’s intervention declared unlawful but also question the very powers under which he acts. Mr Brear has yet to submit his statement to the court but court papers have already shown that even an autobiography written by one of horseracing’s most colourful characters Barney Curley, is being used in evidence against Mr Curley in a bid to suggest that the claimants were part of an elaborate ‘insider trading’ style coup. Damian Hall, Rupert Collier, James Tetherton, Emmett Monaghan and Luke McBride accuse the Gibraltar commissioner of acting without authority and point to the fact that other gaming regulators, including the UK Gambling Commission, of which Mr Brear was once operations chief, have allowed payouts on these same punts. So far Chief Justice Anthony Dudley has not, at this stage, ordered that they appear before the court to give live evidence and face cross examination as Mr Brear’s lawyers have requested. Court documents obtained by the Chronicle last month showed that Mr Brear accuses the claimants not only of failing to make a full disclosure of all material facts, but of having “falsely averred that their accounts are not proxy accounts for Mr Curley.” The judge is also understood to be questioning whether or not the claimants should have pursued their claims by suing parties directly rather than through a judicial review. BETTING The proceedings have come about as a result of a series of multiple bets placed by the applicants with Betfred and 888 on four horses running at various race meetings held in England on the 10th May 2010. Both Betfred and 888 were instructed by Mr Brear to freeze the applicants’ account pending the outcome of investigations in the United Kingdom and a decision as to the bona fides of the bets. To date the monies have not been paid. Bets placed in other jurisdictions by the applicants were paid out and as a result of the interest generated the British Horse Racing Authority and the Independent Betting Adjudicating Service (IBAS) undertook detailed investigations and both bodies found there had been no breaches of the rules of racing. The applicants, represented by Freddie Vasquez QC, of Triay and Triay, have argued that contractual issues between the parties are an entirely separate matter. Submissions to the court from them described the allegations against them as “scatter gun”. They also challenge the way the gaming authority in Gibraltar was investigating their private affairs and allege there may have been breaches by the Gaming authority of a duty to maintain confidentiality. They have submitted a report carried out by the detective agency Annisa Intelligence Ltd of Surrey which followed and photographed Mr Brear between Monday July 25 and Friday July 29 of this summer. It recorded his attending meetings with Betfred’s lawyers Hassans and other movements and as a result the claim is that confidentiality may have been breached and that Mr Brear was seeking to support the gaming operators in resisting making out payments and that he is not impartial. Betfred, who alerted the Gibraltar authority to their concerns, say that the dispute is not about money. “The company will always honour bona fide bet,” it said adding that it became aware of “irregular betting activity” on May 10 2010. It believes that 50 accounts were opened for the purpose of the coup. Betfred allege that the claimants are in fact friends and family of Mr Curley. SKELETONS The court yesterday declined to release skeleton arguments submitted by the parties at this stage of proceedings. James Neish Q.C. appeared with Mr Owen Smith, also of TSN, and represents the Gambling Commissioner. They sought detailed disclosure from the applicants as well as an order they give live evidence at a subsequent permission hearing. That has not been granted at this stage. Mr Vasquez for the applicants appeared with Ray Pilley, Andrew Montague and Georgina Caruana. Nigel Feetham who made no submissions appeared for Betfred an interested party in the proceedings.


Costa del Sol’s oldest magazine shuts its doors


The Costa del Sol’s oldest magazine is reported to have closed down after running its final edition on Friday. The Friday-Ad – which continues to run a UK operation boasting over 1 million readers a week – had produced a Costa del Sol edition out of its Gibraltar offices since 1975. The reason behind the decision to close remains unclear. When the Olive Press attempted to contact the publication’s office, the number failed to connect. However, a member of staff in the UK office confirmed that it was their understanding that the Costa del Sol edition had closed. “As far as I am aware that was the plan (to close on Friday) but you will need to call back in 10 minutes to speak to someone who can confirm that,” she said.

Coventry murder suspect may have fled to Gibraltar


NEW footage of a Coventry man wanted in connection with the murders of a Chinese family of four in their home was shown on Crimewatch last night. Police revealed they have received more than 300 suspected sightings of Anxiang Du, of Witnell Road, Daimler Green, on the BBC One show. Officers are particularly interested in information he may have fled to Gibraltar. The 52-year-old is wanted by detectives in relation to the deaths of 46-year-old Jifeng “Jeff” Ding, his 47-yearold wife Ge Chui, known as Helen, and their two daughters, Alice, 12, and 18-year-old Xing, known as Nancy. The bodies of the Dings were found at their home in Wootton, Northampton, on Sunday, May 1, after they were fatally stabbed on Friday, April 29. The brother of Jeff Ding gave evidence on the TV show, saying he wanted to ask the killer how he could stab the two sisters to death. It also featured previously unseen footage of businessman Du – wearing a three quarter length brown coat and white cap – abandoning his car at 2.27am on April 30 in Venables Street, off the Edgware Road, central London. Crimestoppers have offered a reward of £10,000 for information leading to the conviction of the killer.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Spanish consumers have appetite for grass-fed lamb


Spanish consumers have rated English Quality Standard grass-fed lamb highly in blind taste tests carried out by Eblex. Consumers at three different Spanish locations with a tradition of high lamb consumption rated English lamb equally to Spanish lamb, with no clear preference between the two. It is hoped the research, carried out with 476 people in Catalunia, Aragon and Extremadura, will encourage more Spanish buyers to consider fast-growing breeds of lamb reared on rain-fed pastures, which they have traditionally shunned out of a perception that it has too strong a taste compared to their milder, grain-fed domestically produced lamb. Jean-Pierre Garnier, Eblex head of export services, said: “Traditionally, we have faced a wall with some Mediterranean countries, particularly in Spain, who believe the lamb produced in northern Europe is not to the liking of their palate. They have a preference for their own grain-fed lamb.   “This has been a real barrier to trade, but something we felt was based on historic perception rather than people actually tasting the difference, so we put this to the test.” Consumers were asked to rate the lamb on tenderness, juiciness, flavour and overall acceptability. A small majority (51%) of the tasters in Catalonia and Aragon preferred the English lamb, while a small majority in Extremadura (58%) preferred the Spanish lamb, suggesting that there was no real preference between the two. “This really does show that the Spanish consumer has an appetite for grass-fed lamb and we hope this will encourage more Spanish importers to look to buy from countries like England that use this system,” added Garnier.

another serious incident in Gibraltar Territorial Waters (GTW) between Spanish commercial fishermen using drift nets and local anglers.


There has been yet another serious incident in Gibraltar Territorial Waters (GTW) between Spanish commercial fishermen using drift nets and local anglers.  Every year at around this time GFSA gets reports from local anglers that they are being harassed, threatened and assaulted by Spanish commercial fishermen that have let out long drift nets on the East Side. These nets, that are in excess of 1000 metres in length (1 km), are allowed to drift on the currents off our coast line within GTW.  They target Flying Fish, Bonito and Frigate Mackerel; indiscriminately kill Dolphins, Sea Turtles and small whales like Pilot Whales, that are all protected species that get caught up in them, and they pose a serious danger to shipping because they can get caught in by the propellers of craft passing over them.  And do not think that these incidents are infrequent because hundreds of mammals are killed each year in GTW and GFSA gets scores of complaints and reports of harassment.  You do not see the damage because it is hidden away by the fishermen or the people involved in these incidents do not see any point in taking them further as they have no confidence in the police. Small pleasure boats that anchor to fish at popular reefs on the East Side can become entangled by these nets and once entangled it can sink these small craft easily. Often when you find yourself in such a situation the only action you can take to save your self and your boat is to cut your anchor rope (an expensive and unnecessary financial loss for which the boat-owner cannot seek recompense).  Many times it is the Spanish fishermen who hurling abuse at you and threatening you with violence, come alongside your vessel and cut your anchor rope.  What and who gives them the right to do this in our waters?  Why should the illegal activities of Spanish commercial fishermen put local anglers at risk of assault, damage to boats and gear or worse?  GFSA will hold this Government responsible if something serious were to happen to any of its members or indeed any angler that becomes involved in such incidents at sea whilst fishing. The fishermen never just lay one net and on the day of the incident, that was widely reported in the press, the 2 local anglers involved told GFSA that they had seen another 5 of these nets and they had been forced to head towards and anchor at one of the fishing marks off Eastern Beach to fish.  Both anglers when interviewed later said that they had not realised that another drift net had been let out in the vicinity of where they were anchored and as they tried to free themselves from that net they were assaulted by armed Spanish fishermen. If they had seen the net then they would not have anchored at the mark and would not have been able to fish in any part of GTW on the East Side because there were so many drift nets impeding access to all the popular reefs on that day.  This is totally unacceptable and GFSA denounces the lack of good sense, decisiveness and initiative on the part of this Government for not acting to ban and actively stop the use of these types of nets in GTW that are illegal all over the European Union.  So GFSA wants to know why it is that our Chief Minister allows this to type of fishing in our waters when the Nature Protection Act 1991 bans the use of all nets, rakes and pots in GTW.  This law can be used today, immediately to ban the use of drift nets and GFSA calls on them to act now before there is a more serious confrontation at sea involving our citizens.  The Chief Minister cannot hide behind the Algeciras Agreement on this issue he should be aware that the UN banned the use of drift nets on the high seas in 1992 and the EU banned them in 2002.  Isn’t Gibraltar part of the European Union?  So GFSA wants to know what is preventing the Chief Minister from enforcing such a ban here in Gibraltar.  The time has now come for this Government to show some leadership and to place an immediate ban on the use of drift nets in GTW and to direct the Royal Gibraltar Police (RGP) to enforce this ban.   If the Government says that they cannot interfere with the operational responsibilities of the RGP than what is stopping the RGP from enforcing a ban on the use of drift nets in GTW given that the use of nets is banned by the Nature Protection Act 1991? GFSA believes and is convinced that it is the Government that is influencing the way that these incidents are dealt with by the RGP because if the RGP were to enforce existing local laws at sea within GTW, as enshrined within the Nature Protection Act 1991, it will upset Spain and this is frowned upon by the Chief Minister.  This view is reinforced because it appears that when the RGP attend any incident at sea where angling or anglers are involved they do not seem to know what to do.  They are asking the victims of these incidents what they think they ought to do and in other cases they just seem to be say that there is nothing they can do.  So when GFSA gets feed back like this it comes to the logical conclusion that RGP officers at an operational level are not being given the direction that they need by their leadership because that leadership is being put under political pressure by the Chief Minister to turn a blind eye to these activities, and to ignore and play them down.  It is part of a policy of appeasement and rapprochement towards Spain supported by this Government that is putting Gibraltarian lives at risk for political expediency. GFSA is very critical of the action taken by the RGP in the aftermath of the incident.  To arrest two Spanish nationals who were later released on bail and allowed to return to Spain is frankly not good enough.  The RGP should have arrested the vessel, seized the drift nets and other equipment and charged all the men on board not just 2 of them.  In GFSA’s view they have missed an opportunity to send a strong message to Spanish commercial fishermen that they need to respect our waters and our laws. It is time that this Government takes stock of the damage that Spanish commercial fishermen using drift nets are doing in Gibraltar Territorial Waters.  This is only one symptom of a much bigger problem that GFSA has been trying to engage the Government over.  But they are still not talking to GFSA.  Once again the Federation wishes to state openly and publicly that it is willing to talk to this Government.  It is up to the Government to make the next move to break this impasse.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Full Tilt was 'not a legitimate poker company', said Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara.

Full Tilt Poker
Photograph: Isaac Brekken/AP

Federal prosecutors have accused two top poker players and troubledgambling site Full Tilt Poker of running "a massive Ponzi scheme" that defrauded players out of $440m.

Manhattan attorney Preet Bharara filed legal papers on Tuesday accusing Full Tilt Poker of improperly using funds from its online poker players to pay members of its board of directors, including professional poker players Howard Lederer and Christopher "Jesus" Ferguson.

"Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme," Bharara said in a statement.

Full Tilt "cheated and abused its own players to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars", and "insiders lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company", said Bharara.

The government alleges that Full Tilt executives misled the website's players, telling them the money the company was supposed to be holding in their accounts was safe.

"In reality, Full Tilt Poker did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players, and, in addition, the company used player funds to pay board members and other owners more than $440m since April 2007," Bharara said.

British regulators suspended Full Tilt's licence earlier this year.

The firm is regulated from Alderney, in the Channel Islands, by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The commission acted after US authorities charged the founders of the US's three largest online poker sites with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offences.

According to US prosecutors, Full Tilt and rivals Absolute Poker and PokerStars were engaged in a criminal scheme to trick or bribe banks in order to facilitate the flow of billions in illegal gambling profits.

Last week a consumer group from Quebec filed a lawsuit against Full Tilt Poker seeking restitution for Canadian players who cannot access their accounts.

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Spanish custom officers seize cigarette packs


SPANISH customs officers in La Linea de la Concepción seized 2,848 packets of cigarettes last weekend, according to press reports. Contraband tobacco was found hidden in three vehicles crossing the border into Spain from Gibraltar. In a fourth case, the bag of a person walking by the Levante area was searched and was found to be carrying 1,000 packets of contraband tobacco.

Marrakesh bomb trial to resume


The trial in Morocco of nine suspects in a bomb attack in April that killed 17 people, mainly European tourists, is set to resume on Thursday with bereaved relatives in attendance. The main suspect, 25-year-old Adil El-Atmani, and his accomplices face the death penalty if proven guilty. The trial opened on June 30 but was then adjourned to August 18 and further postponed to September 22 in order to allow the plaintiffs to prepare their case. "So far the trial is taking place in normal conditions. The judicial guarantees are there and personally, I'm ready. So I don't wish for another postponement," Omar Abouzouhour, a lawyer for nine of the victims' families, told AFP. The nine suspects are accused of "seriously undermining public order, premeditated murder and laying an ambush, the possession of and making of explosives, and belonging to a banned religious group." The victims, most of them tourists, included eight French nationals as well as citizens of Britain, Canada, Switzerland, Portugal and The Netherlands. Relatives of the victims of the April 28 attack on the terrace of a cafe on Marrakesh's bustling Djemaa El-Fna square are in Morocco for the hearing. The Marrakesh bombing was the most deadly in the north African kingdom since attacks in the coastal city of Casablanca in 2003 which killed 33 people and 12 suicide bombers. Security sources have alleged that El-Atmani, wearing a wig and carrying a guitar, left two bags containing bombs on the cafe terrace and triggered the blasts with a mobile phone just after leaving. Major cracks "Morocco wants this trial to wind up by the end of December, they want it to finish as quickly as possible because every time you talk about the attack, it doesn't do any good to the tourism industry," said Jacques Sombret, one of the French victims' father.

New deadlines force final bids


tighter takeover rules that came into effect yesterday have forced deadlines on a slew of would-be bidders for mostly small-cap companies. The new Takeover Panel rules include a 28-day deadline to "put up or shut up" – to make an offer or walk away. Ongoing bid talks that must now reach a conclusion by 17 October include bookmaker Ladbrokes' interest in smaller rival Sportingbet and William Hill's tilt at the small Gibraltar-based gaming group Probability The clock is also now ticking on the long-running saga between hotel operator MWB and office space supplier MWB Business Exchange. Potential bids for financial services firm Merchant Securities, banking software firm Parseq, Purple Ronnie brand owner Coolabi and insurance broker THB Group are now also facing 17 October deadlines

BHA's decision to team up with William Hill to fight the exchanges is misguided


One wonders whether the British Horseracing Authority pondered such a scenario before it decided to jump into bed with William Hill bookmakers. For they are now jointly pursuing a judicial review of the Levy Board’s decision not to impose Levy on some customers of betting exchanges. Which equates to the sport’s governing body suing the Government quango that distributes its funding. Why, we should ask ourselves, would the ruling body of horse racing want to march into battle allied to its biggest parasite? are, after all, the biggest on line bookmaker dodging Levy payments by being based in Gibraltar. Betfair, on the other hand, who are the BHA’s principal target in this fight, voluntarily pay racing £6 million a year in Levy even though, they too, are based offshore. Before the BHA made this catastrophic decision – to be bank rolled by one betting operation fighting another for market share – did they consult their history books? Clearly not. Because, had they done so, they would have been reminded that William Hill have consistently been the bête noir of racing.

Dr. Wade Turner, Winfield, successfully swam the Strait of Gibraltar on Sept. 5


Dr. Wade Turner, Winfield, successfully swam the Strait of Gibraltar on Sept. 5. The attempt was a fundraising effort to secure monies to help with recruitment of physicians to rural areas such as Winfield through the William Newton Healthcare Foundation. Prior to his swim, Turner spoke at a meeting of the Noon Kiwanis Club and announced his intentions. The club decided to support his idea and made a donation to his project. Kiwanis Club member Ed Foster also jokingly boasted, “If (Turner) finishes his swim, I’ll swim across the lagoon at Island Park to raise more funds.” With Turner’s successful accomplishment, Foster has now risen to the challenge and will navigate his way across the lagoon (near the entrance to Island Park at the bridge) at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday. Everyone is invited to come watch Foster’s feat and cheer him on. Contributions are still being accepted for area physician recruitment. The Noon Kiwanis Club has agreed to match any donations up to $300 for Ed’s endeavors.

This year’s Calpe Conference, coinciding with the 1300th Anniversary of the crossing of the Strait by Tarik ibn Zeyad,


This year’s Calpe Conference, coinciding with the 1300th Anniversary of the crossing of the Strait by Tarik ibn Zeyad, aims to review the entire history of this important channel. The conference’s title gives the focus of the meeting: was the Strait a bridge that allowed access between Africa and Europe and between the Atlantic and the Mediterranean, or was it a barrier to such access? An impressive panel of speakers will assemble in Gibraltar to attempt to answer these questions. The conference kicks off on Thursday 22nd September at 0930 hours with the official opening by the Honourable Edwin Reyes MP, Minister for Culture, Heritage, Sport and Leisure. The opening will be followed by a key note address by Professor David Abulafia of the University of Cambridge. Professor Abulafia is arguably this generation’s top Mediterranean historian and this is clearly highlighted by his recent book The Great Sea: A Human History of the Mediterranean. The key note address will launch an exciting three-day conference. The first day will ask questions about the Strait as a bridge or barrier to terrestrial and marine animals. It will lead to issues regarding the use and passage of the Strait by prehistoric peoples, which will be addressed at the end of the first day and the first part of the second. Speakers will include biologists, archaeologists and geneticists, the latter providing fresh insights based on the study of our genes. From prehistory the conference will move forward to the edge of history. The protohistoric world of the Phoenicians will receive prominence in a major paper describing, in detail for the first time, the work which has been carried out at Gorham’s Cave – a Phoenician and Carthaginian coastal shrine - in the past 20 years. It will be followed by a presentation on the exploitation of the Strait’s marine resources in Roman times. The medieval period will be given prominence, given the significance of 711 AD, with several presentations. One will summarise all the work that has been carried out in Gibraltar, from the archaeology at Casemates and Main Street to the Castle itself. But papers will also talk about Tarik’s landing and subsequent events and about a relatively unknown time – the period before 711 in relation to Visigothic and Byzantine influences. The latter part of the conference will adopt a more contemporary flavour, dealing with 19th, 20th and even present-day questions. Among the papers will be an analysis of the logs of the port of Gibraltar in the 19th Century and also a paper on piracy which will be presented by Professor Andrew Lambert of King’s College, London. The week’s events commence tomorrow Tuesday 20th September at 7pm with the official opening of the photographic exhibition “Bridges and Barriers” by Finlayson Nature Photography. It follows from their successful spring exhibition and the photographs will, on this occasion, highlight the relationship of the sea with the fauna of the Strait. The exhibition will be opened by the Honourable Edwin Reyes at 7pm and will remain open to the public for two weeks. Registration for the Calpe Conference, which is free for residents of Gibraltar, remains open and the public is encouraged to attend this exciting series of lectures by world renowned speakers.

New Mobile Casino Games Platform For Victor Chandler


The Victor Chandler group is extremely famous all over the world because of its gaming operations and bookmaking. It has offices in the Far East and Gibraltar and there is a huge number of gaming products that it offers. In March 2011, Victor Chandler joined one of the world famous online casino games developers Microgaming. QuickFire takes the credit for the gaming platform it provides to the casino and the betters thus have 150 titles to choose from. This move has also enabled the consumers to try their hands to win a huge sum of money from the progressive jackpots. Since the platform has become such a big hit, Victor Chandler has once again chosen Microgaming for Quickfire mobile casino games solutions. The software will help players wagering a number of mobile casino games along with the betting applications. Turlough Lally, Victor Chandler’s head of mobile operations commented that the company, “has been pleased and impressed with QuickFire since its integration earlier this year, so consequently upgrading to the mobile casino offering was a logical step. We currently operate the leading mobile sports book on the market and it’s great to be able to integrate with Microgaming’s mobile casino so we can offer our customers a best of breed fully integrated single App mobile gaming experience,” Andrew Dymock, Head of Casino and Games at Victor Chandler, said in March, “Microgaming is the market leading supplier of online and mobile casino games content and Victor Chandler is thrilled to be offering its games through QuickFire. We continually strive to offer players a truly best of breed, unique range of quality gaming content, and now with the addition of Microgaming titles, our product has grown significantly in stature. QuickFire’s integration process has been seamless and we’re sure this new offering will prove a hit with our players.” This news was brought to you by mobile casino map, a mobile casinos gambling portal dedicated to the mobile casinos gambling industry news, mobile casinos betting sites, mobile casino games news and strategies.

William Hill's bid exposed by takeover rules


Bookmaking giant William Hill was today confirmed as being behind secret takeover talks with mobile gambling firm Probability as new City disclosure rules came into force. The Takeover Panel has said target companies which receive an informal approach must now declare it publicly to the stock market. That will force any would-be bidder to clarify if it intends to make a formal offer within 28 days, rather than let the process drag on for months. Regulators brought in the changes to alter the balance of power between target companies and bidders after criticism during Kraft's takeover of Cadbury that the rules favoured those making an approach. Gibraltar-based Probability has been having "preliminary discussions" with William Hill but there has been no offer. William Hill must now make a decision by October 17. A raft of other companies made similar "put up or shut up" announcements this morning. Gaming firm Sportingbet said Ladbrokes has to come clean on its intentions after beginning takeover talks in June. Meanwhile, Merchant Securities has been approached by South African financial services group Sanlam. Jeremy Phillips, corporate finance partner at law firm Pinsent Masons, said target companies will now be "in play" for a shorter time period. "These changes should reduce the uncertainty for target companies and their shareholders," he said. But bidders will have less time to carry out due diligence procedures and raise financing.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Moroccan cops seize Scot caught with £500k of cannabis resin


holidaymaker is being held in a hell-hole Moroccan jail after being caught in a camper van with £500,000 of hashish. Daniel Healy, 66, was arrested last week as he tried to drive across the border from Morocco to the Spanish enclave of Ceuta. The police discovered the 100kg stash of cannabis resin hidden in aluminium boxes stashed in a water tank. Since then, Healy – who is from Glasgow – has spent six nights in the violent and cramped Tetouan prison. Friend Graham Boszormenyi, 46, claimed that Healy was unaware of the hidden drugs. Ex-Royal Navy submariner Graham said: “Daniel is a good friend of mine and I know that he had no knowledge of what he was carrying. “I spoke to him a couple of days ago and he said he plans to plead guilty because he’s been told he’ll only get one year. “But I know the system in Morocco and I don’t believe it for a minute. “I’ve been through this before. Twice they’ve had me in Morocco and I think he could end up getting four to six years – and he’s too old for that. “He’s in the worst prison possible, where there are 60 people in a cell with one shared toilet. “He’s a harmless old man who is known by lots of people around the world. He’s a noisy drunk but he’s not any kind of criminal. “I know the people who are behind this and I think they will help by coming forward to the UK authorities and telling them that he knew nothing about it. “I have spoken to his family in Scotland and they are understandably very worried. “He has been sucker-punched. He had no idea that these people had just used him. It’s backfired on everyone, especially him. “He was travelling under a different name, John McLeish. I don’t know why. He’s due to be tried on Tuesday.” Healy was driving the Spanish- registered camper van when he was stopped on the border between Morocco and Ceuta. He had been expected to get a ferry from Ceuta across the Mediterranean to the Spanish city of Algeciras. Healy’s daughter Siobhan is a celebrated glass artist with a studio in Glasgow’s Dennistoun. The 34-year-old – whose clients include the Scottish government, the BBC and many councils – said: “I don’t know anything about this. “It doesn’t sound like the kind of thing my dad would be involved in.” Officials from the British embassy are expected to make the 215-mile trip from the Moroccan capital Rabat to offer Healy assistance. A US state department report on Moroccan jail conditions said: “They generally did not meet international standards. “Prisons were overcrowded, resulting in poor hygienic conditions and are prone to violence.” A Moroccan police spokesman said: “We arrested a Scottish man and he is now in prison. We can’t tell you anything else.” A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are aware of the arrest of a British national in Morocco."

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Chris Stewart has been voted the most influential expat of the past 200 years in Andalucia

Chris Stewart on his Andalucian farm
Chris Stewart has been voted the most influential expat of the past 200 years in Andalucia Photo: Andrew Crowley

Individuals included on The Olive Press's “Expat 100” list ranged from little-known historical figures such as Amelia Loring, the grandaughter of a former British consul who founded Málaga's botanic gardens in the 1850s, to modern-day celebrities such as Sean Connery, who lived for many years in Marbella.

Top of the list was Chris Stewart, ex-drummer of the British band Genesis, whose books about life on his Andalucian farm have, the newspaper said, “completely changed the perception of Andalucia as a region, as well as encouraging thousands to visit".

Mr Stewart said that he was "flattered and privileged" to have been given first place.

“I’m a huge fan of multiculturalism and the presence of foreigners here has really helped the region,” he added.

Stewart was closely followed by the American author Washington Irving, who is credited with rediscovering Granada’s Alhambra palace, Prince Alfonso de Hohenlohe-Langenburg, the Bavarian-Spanish playboy who transformed Marbella from a tiny village into a thriving tourist destination, and Joan Hunt CBE, the British founder of the cancer hospice Cudeca, on the Costa del Sol.

Less famous characters who also made the list included Canadians Scott Abbott and Chris Haney, who invented the game Trivial Pursuits while in Nerja, and Betty Molesworth Allen, a New Zealand expat who became an expert on Andalucia's flowers and plants.

Readers generally responded positively to the choice of expats on the list, which was compiled with help from the British consul in Málaga, a judging panel of prominent local expats, and readers who sent in nominations. Opinion was divided however over the exact ranking order, with one reader complaining that there was an over-prioritisation of "fame and celebrity".

Top 10 influential expats in Andalucia

  1. Chris Stewart
  2. Washington Irving
  3. Prince Alfonso Hohenlohe-Langenburg
  4. Joan Hunt CBE
  5. Sir George Langworthy
  6. William Mark
  7. Thomas Osborne Mann
  8. Gerald Brenan CBE
  9. Sergio Leone
  10. Amelia Loring

Gibraltar’s residents go ape


ANGRY residents in the Catalan Bay area have called on the government to protect their homes from the Rock’s iconic apes. They claim apes are now descending on the residential area on a daily basis causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage, by climbing on rooftops and jumping from car to car. One local resident Jackie Pisharello insisted she had even seen the creatures fighting on her patio leaving blood everywhere. The residents believe the long-standing problem has been made worse by a recent fire which destroyed a bin, forcing the residents to dispose of rubbish at the local car parking area. A Government spokesman insisted it is in the process of cleaning up the area.

Smuggler Tosses Passengers Off Jet Ski


Spanish police say a human smuggler trying to sneak two Moroccans into Spain by crossing the Strait of Gibraltar on a jet ski threw them into the water when detected by coastal authorities and that one drowned. A Civil Guard statement Tuesday said the incident happened Sept. 9 near the Spanish town of Tarifa. The Moroccan driver has been charged with negligent manslaughter. One of the travelers managed to swim ashore after being dumped 500 meters from it, but the other did not survive. Spain is a lure for poor North and sub-Saharan Africans because it is Europe's southern gateway. Every year, thousands try to reach the Spanish mainland or Spain's Canary Islands off the coast of west Africa.



An ongoing investigation dating back well over a year continues after a local man aged 73 was arrested last week and remanded on Friday on the strength of a European Arrest Warrant. On Thursday officers of the RGP arrested Angel Vella of No. 7 Maidstone House. The warrant issued by the Portuguese authorities is for alleged offences of conspiracy to import 6000 kilos of cannabis resin into Portugal. Vella appeared before the Magistrates Court on Friday where he was remanded in custody until September 19. Vella, who was granted legal aid and is represented by Carl Rammage, did not agree to being surrendered to the Portuguese authorities. In court the Portuguese Government was represented by Crown Counsel Karina Khubchand of the International Division EU International Department of the Government of Gibraltar.


Monday, 12 September 2011

Families flee crime and jobs horrors


MILLIONS of hacked-off Brits are fleeing the UK for a home in the sun. More than three million have emigrated since 1991, shock new figures reveal. That means around one in 20 of the population have fled in search of a better life. And the mass exodus has sparked more fears of a brain drain generation as Britain’s brightest hopes go. Many say they are being driven out by crime, a shattered economy and bungling Government ministers. Huge numbers are young workers desperate for jobs and pensioners searching for an easy sunshine life. A string of tax benefits is also tempting away Brits who had been forced to get two jobs to try to ride out the recession. Australia has been the most popular sunshine spot for migrating Brits since 1991. America and Canada remain “attractive destinations”, think tank MigrationWatch said yesterday. But the popularity of Spain and France has slumped over the Eurozone debt crisis. MigrationWatch, which released the figures, warned the move was inflicting a “brain drain” on Britain. Its report said: “The profile of those leaving is a concern. Sixty per cent of emigrants since 1997 have been of working age.

The Feadship Helix arriving in Gibraltar



is Feadship Royal Van Lent's latest F45 superyacht, which was launched on August 15th. Helix is the first yacht in the series with the Nautical interior theme, which features a modern mix of light fabric covered walls in mahogany wooden frames and a high contrast in carefully selected materials. Helix 

is currently being offered for sale, and will make her first public appearance at the upcoming Monaco Yacht Show, which runs from September 21 to 24.

Thursday, 8 September 2011

Dr. Wade Turner of Winfield successfully completed the grueling swim of the Strait of Gibraltar in just under five hours on Sept. 5.


Turner’s wife Laurie, said his unofficial time, which she kept, was 4 hours, 52 minutes to complete the 12 to 14 mile swim. Distance is dependent on strength and direction of currents. The average temperature was 18-23 C depending on location in the water. When he finished, Turner told his wife he “couldn’t have made it another two minutes.” According to Laurie, Turner endured three to four foot swells and stretches of bad current. The facilitators wouldn’t let Turner break for nourishment or to rehydrate for a portion of the swim because the current was so strong. If he had stopped during that time, for every minute he was stopped, he would have been swept a quarter of a mile or more off course. Turner ended up having to take a longer route but made it to Africa in spite of the many challenges. Although Turner has completed his swim, he still hasn’t reached his fundraising goal for the physician recruitment fund at William Newton Healthcare Foundation

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bay of Gibraltar is 'disaster waiting to happen'


The rock of Gibraltar rises to the east, its massive limestone cliffs more than 400 metres above sea level. To the west lies the Spanish port of Algeciras and its nature reserve. Between the two is a gulf barely 7km across where about 30 tankers and liners compete for space. They are moored in the bay waiting. Gibraltar is Europe's top port for refuelling. Located on one side of the strait connecting the Atlantic to the Mediterranean, with more than 110,000 ships passing through every year, it is a very attractive spot, especially since it levies no tax on fuel. Ships filling their tanks here can even dispense with mooring fees. But according to environmental campaigners the outlook is far from idyllic: the Bay of Gibraltar is a disaster waiting to happen. A few hundred metres off the coast of the British overseas territory, a huge oil tanker, the Jacques Jacob, is pumping thousands of litres of diesel fuel into a pipe, which reaches down its hull, over the water and into the tank of a refuelling freighter. The two vessels, moored in the open sea, are only separated by a buoy that acts as a buffer. But at the slightest mishap, a spill is highly likely. Day after day, dozens of cargo ships repeat the tricky process of "bunkering"'. On the Spanish side freighters refuel in dock, but Gibraltar does not have enough space for fuel tanks. So at any given time there are three floating filling stations cluttering up the bay. Authorised by the UK authorities, they are forbidden in Spain. "The risk is too great," says Alfonso Marquina, the harbour master at Algeciras-La Linea. Each of the tankers carries up to 100,000 litres of diesel. "In 2010 a storm tore one of them loose and it drifted for 48 hours. It had 80,000 tonnes of oil in its tanks," says the spokesperson of the Verdemar environmental group, Antonio Muñoz. The organisation has lodged a complaint with the European parliament. Bunkering is legal, according to the international maritime authorities, but it must be carried out "in compliance with strict rules". Minor accidents do nevertheless occur. The Algeciras harbour master has registered four spills since the beginning of the year. In January, the fuel tank on a ship that was filling up overflowed, releasing five cubic metres of diesel. In June, 300 litres of coolant leaked into the sea, and of course there are countless spills involving just a few litres. The Gibraltar authorities dismiss these "minor" events, but they recur so frequently that they probably do more damage to the marine environment than major oil spills. This seems to be endorsed by recent research. In 2007 Carmen Moral Caselles, a marine scientist, presented her findings. "By 2006, four years after the Prestige oil spill off the coast of Galicia [in north-west Spain], the degradation of sediment in the Atlantic Islands National Park had stopped," she explains. "Here, with Algeciras Bay subjected to ongoing industrial emissions and bunkering spills, coastal sediments are much more seriously degraded." At Punta de San García, in the Strait of Gibraltar Natural Park between Algeciras and Tarifa, the pebbles are black, coated with tar from a hydrocarbon spill following a fire in a fuel tank at Gibraltar in June. According to Tony Davis, the director of maritime affairs at Gibraltar, "nearly 100 tonnes of oil are tipped into the sea, but 90% are trapped by barriers and the remaining 10% are soon mopped up". The story across the bay in Algeciras is rather different and the beaches are sticky with tar. "Our environmental protection vessel picked up 40 cubic metres of oil, but Gibraltar only acknowledges that a tenth of that amount was spilt," says Marquina, adding that an investigation is in progress. "Each time there's an accident the authorities spend more time blaming their opposite numbers than actually solving the problem," says Sara del Rojo, head of the pollution campaign at Greenpeace Spain. "Ultimately, pollution becomes a secondary issue." Spain has never recognised the territorial waters claimed by Gibraltar and the tension between the two parties plays into the hands of polluters. Juan Manuel Sanchez, an amateur fisherman, is sick of the damage done by illegal degassing, which covers the surface of the water with an oily film. "This bay has become a toilet for the whole of Europe," he says. Just out to sea from El Saladillo marina the stench is overpowering. The sewage from Algeciras and Gibraltar is pumped straight into the sea. According to Juan Antonio Carrasco, of the local nature preservation organisation (Agaden), the current in the bay helps prevent a real disaster, dispersing the pollution and pushing it out into the strait – into the sea where naturalists watch over dolphins, whales and even killer whales, not to mention thousands of migrating birds and exceptional submarine flora.

Tankers left to idle as growth in fleet outstrips global oil demand


Anyone looking out over the Bay of Algeciras by the Rock of Gibraltar over the next few months can expect to see plenty of ships. The bay is a popular spot to moor oil tankers - Algeciras’s busy oil refinery is nearby and the bay’s strategic location makes it an excellent place for temporarily idle ships. The ships are underemployed thanks to growth in the world tanker fleet that far outstrips the 1.3 per cent world oil consumption growth projected for this year and the 1.8 per cent projected for 2012. Figures from Fearnleys, an Oslo-based shipbroker, put this year’s growth in the world fleet of very large crude carriers - the largest commonly used kind - at 14 per cent if none is scrapped. The figure for 2012 should be 9 per cent.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

talkSPORt to be broadcast to British troops stationed overseas


talkSPORT commentary on the Rugby World Cup 2011 is to be broadcast to British soldiers serving overseas, the British Forces Broadcasting Service has announced. Coverage commences on September 9 and will enable troops stationed in more than 20 countries; including Afghanistan, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands, to keep up to date with all the games as they are played. England legend Brian Moore, aka The Pit Bull, will be heading up talkSPORT's coverage for the tournament alongside David Campese. He said: “The Rugby World Cup is a massive event and is sure to be a fantastic spectacle – I’m really pleased to be supporting our brave troops abroad.” BFBS Controller Nicky Ness said: “I am delighted that the BFBS and talkSPORT partnership now extends to Rugby World Cup coverage.  This tournament is really important to the armed forces community for whom sport is crucial part of life.  The fact that our troops will be able to listen on the front line and in far flung corners of the world will make a real difference to morale.

Nurofen Plus withdrawn in Gibraltar


PHARMACIES in Gibraltar have had to withdraw all stocks of Nurofen Plus. The Health Authority fears the boxes could contain other types of drugs. They were advised to do this by the UK who issued a Class one drug alert Friday evening and issued a total recall of all Nurofen Plus tablets over the bank holiday this weekend. At least five packets of Nurofen Plus in the UK were found to contain other drugs including a powerful anti-psychotic medicine and another used to treat epilepsy. As of 10am on Tuesday it was still possible to buy the tablets in Gibraltar pharmacies. This is because, instead of an emergency call, the notification was apparently faxed to the chief pharmacist here, so it was Tuesday morning before any action was taken on the Rock. Scotland Yard is investigating how the drugs came to be inside the Nurofen Plus packets. “Sabotage is suspected,” said Reckitt Benckiser from the company that manufactures the product. “We are working with the police on a formal investigation to find the person or persons responsible.” “Distribution of Nurofen Plus has been halted at this time.” The possibility that left over medicines were incorrectly packed is being looked into by British Government health officials. The recall is a “precautionary measure”, according to the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). “People should check to see if they have any packets of Nurofen Plus,” said Ian Holloway, manager at the agency’s Defective Medicines Reporting Centre. “If you do, return them to your nearest pharmacy.”

Monday, 5 September 2011

The husband of a woman who fell to her death during a holiday in Morocco remained upstairs in their apartment while she lay dying in the street below

The husband of a woman who fell to her death during a holiday in Morocco remained upstairs in their apartment while she lay dying in the street below, according to a new witness.

His account deepens the mystery surrounding the death of Mathilde Lamb, 43, and that of her husband Roger, 47, who died in a separate fall four days later, leaving their four sons orphaned.

Mrs Lamb, known as Tilly, was killed after plunging three floors from the window of the family’s £30-a-night rented apartment in the coastal town of Essaouira during the early hours of August 17. 

Mathilde and Roger Lamb

Mystery: Mathilde and Roger Lamb whose four children have been orphaned after both of their parents died in separate falls

Speaking for the first time about the incident, witness Rashid Hamaini, an artist, said that no member of Mrs Lamb’s family came to her aid after the fall.

He said: ‘I was working late that night. It was about 12.30am and it was very quiet. Then I heard a scream outside – it was a woman’s voice. I ran straight outside and into the street.



‘On the pavement was Mrs Lamb who was lying on her front. She was wearing a T-shirt and bikini bottoms and blood was coming from her head.

‘The scream that I heard was not from her but from a woman who had seen her fall from the window. She was standing in the street shaking and was very upset. I went over and comforted her.’

Mr Hamaini said he asked what had happened and the witness said she had just seen a woman falling.

The top floor window from which Mrs Lamb fell in Essaouira, Morocco

Scene: The top floor window from which Mrs Lamb fell in Essaouira, Morocco

He added: ‘The entire street was deserted. It was absolutely quiet – not a sound from anywhere. There was no one in the street apart from the two of us.

‘Nobody came down to help the victim or to check her at all. Within ten minutes both the police and the ambulance had arrived and they took the woman away on a stretcher.’

Mr Hamaini said more police arrived 15 minutes later and took Mr Lamb and one of the boys away in a car.

Confusion has surrounded the horrific events which led to the couple’s deaths, with unconfirmed reports about them arguing over plans for the family to move abroad, and that they were experiencing financial worries.

Mrs Lamb’s family say she had been trying to remonstrate with revellers outside the flat but leaned out of the window too far and fell.

But witnesses said they had heard no raised voices prior to the fall.

Local police say they believe her death was a tragic accident caused by a wooden balustrade giving way. However, there are no signs of any damage to the barrier.

The room from which Mrs Lamb fell

Window: The room from which Mrs Lamb fell

Witness Hasna El Akrab told the Sunday Times: 'I looked up immediately at the window. It was open but there was no light coming from it. I can say that the railing was in perfect order.'

Of the incident, Mr Lamb’s brother-in-law, Mark Rogerson, said: ‘Unfortunately because the awning downstairs was blocking her view, she couldn’t see what was going on and according to her son, she climbed up on to the balustrade to get a better view. 

‘She was leaning out when she overbalanced and fell. Roger ran straight outside and found Tilly in the street.’

He added: ‘We have heard a host of sometimes contradictory statements from witnesses. Further speculation can only be hurtful to the boys.’

Mr Lamb, a structural engineer, checked himself and his sons into the nearby Sofitel hotel after the incident and fell from a second-floor stairwell four days after his wife fell.

It has also emerged that the day after Mrs Lamb's death, her husband was admitted to Mohammed Ben Abdellah hospital by the couple's eldest son Angus, 16, after apparently trying to take his own life.

He was soaking wet, apparently having fallen into the sea, reported the Sunday Times.

He was released and the family checked into the Sofitel with Mrs Lamb's sister Charlotter and her husband Rupert who had arrived in Essaouira that day.

Roger Lamb with his four children and friends enjoy a campfire

Tragedy: Roger Lamb with his four children and friends enjoy a campfire

A doctor was called after the hotel notified the hospital that he was unable to remember anything from the night his wife died.

Mr Lamb was given anti-depressants and a tranquilliser and the doctor advised the family to move from the second floor to the ground floor and monitor Mr Lamb 24 hours a day.

Staff were asked to inform the British consul so that Mr Lamb and the boys could be repatriated.

Mr lamb was seen sitting by the hotel pool, laughing with his children but the following day he had made another suicide attempt.

After eating breakfast with his children and Charlotte and Rupert, he leapt off a second-floor walkway overlooking an internal atrium.

He was rushed to hospital where he died soon after.

A family friend has also revealed that the police had been called to the couple's home in 2008 and Mrs Lamb begged officers to take away her husband's shotgun.

They came close to separating at the time, sources said.

The couple's children – Angus, Monty, 15, Henry, 11, and Felix, nine – are now back in Britain being cared for by relatives. The bodies of Mr and Mrs Lamb have been repatriated.

Surgeons repair Spanish king's ruptured tendon


Spanish surgeons successfully repaired 73-year-old King Juan Carlos's ruptured Achilles tendon on Monday, medical and palace officials said. The popular monarch had surgery to the Achilles tendon of his left foot at the private USP San Jose hospital in Madrid and has returned to his Zarzuela palace on the outskirts of the capital, they said. "The procedure was carried out successfully under epidural anaesthetic," the hospital said in a statement. Surgeons repaired the tendon through open reconstruction surgery, strengthening it with a transplant from the king's own body and with plasma rich in growth factor, it said. In typical open surgery, a surgeon makes a long incision along the back of the leg and sews the broken tendon back together. The ankle is often immobilized for up to three months afterwards. "His majesty is feeling well at the Zarzuela palace, where he will continue his recovery," said the statement, signed by operating surgeon Angel Villamor and the palace's chief physician, Avelino Barros. The king underwent surgery by the same team on June 3 to place an artificial joint in his right knee and he has since been seen in public relying on a crutch. He will now embark on a "long programme of rehabilitation" and the heel will be temporarily immobilised, the palace had said earlier. The king had a benign tumour removed from a lung in May 2010 when he was kept four days in hospital and then had 10 days' rest at a private Barcelona clinic. In September last year the royal household said he had completely recovered from the lung operation and would not require further tests. Born January 5, 1938, in Rome, Juan Carlos was proclaimed king November 22, 1975, two days after the death of General Francisco Franco who had designated him as his successor since 1969. After Franco's death, the king promised to rule for all Spaniards, signing a new constitution three years later and defending parliamentary democracy from an attempted right-wing military coup in 1981.

Doctor serves six months in prison because of his grandmother's mothballs


mistaken positive in a drugs test carried out at Barajas Airport in Madrid has resulted in a Panamanian doctor, Juan Rodríguez Lizondro, to be imprisoned in Madrid for six months. The customs authorities and Guardia Civil declared that his 19 kilos of clothes had been impregnated with cocaine, while the doctor claimed they had detected his grandmother’s camphor. The reported conversation at the time was.... ‘It smells strange – what’s it got?’ ‘I don’t know. I live with my grandmother. She irons my clothes with starch, and then puts it in drawers with balls of camphor ro repel the moths – maybe it’s that’. ‘Let’s see’, said the Guardia Civil, who then sprayed the clothes with an aerosol which produced a distinctive blue colour, indicating as far as they were concerned that it was cocaine. The 34 year old doctor, who is a Seventh Day Adventist, had come to Madrid because of a three month scholarship he had won with the Carlos III Health Institute. He did not drink or smoke, much less take drugs. Despite that the prosecutor called for him to be charged with drug trafficking and the judge, who considered the aerosol test could not be wrong on 108 different items of clothing. A second test on the clothing at the Spanish Medicaments Agency took six months to come up with the correct result showing that there were no drugs. ‘I came to Spain with all my dreams and a grand project, and everything turned into the worst nightmare’.

Friday, 2 September 2011

The youngest son of Christchurch-based engineer Roger Lamb and his wife who died during a holiday in Morocco has described his mother's last moments.

Lamb and wife Mathilde, known as Tilly, were holidaying with their four sons, aged between 9 and 16, in Essaouira when they died in separate falls several days apart.

British reports said a "furious argument" was heard before Mathilde, 43, of England, was found on the ground after plunging from the third-floor apartment where they were staying.

Flat owner Majid Naimi told the Daily Mail there was no way her death was an accident – "the only way out of the window is if someone climbs out or is pushed."

But the couple's youngest son who was in the apartment at the time of the tragedy has denied that was the case, The Telegraph reported.

He told relatives that Mathilde had been leaning out of their apartment window to remonstrate with a group of people rowing outside in the street, when she lost her balance and fell.

Her brother-in-law, Mark Rogerson, described what the boy had seen.

"On the night in question, there was a great deal of noise outside the apartment. It was Ramadan and so there was a real din in the street.

"The family were all in bed and were finding the noise quite annoying. But then a bit later, an argument broke out between some people downstairs right in front of the apartment.

"Someone then started banging on the door downstairs and Tilly became quite angry. She went to the window to see who was knocking and to tell them in no uncertain terms to clear off."

Rogerson said she couldn't see what was going on from the window, so according to her son, she climbed up onto the balustrade to get a better view.

As she was leaning out, she overbalanced and fell.

"Roger ran straight outside and found Tilly in the street."

He said there has been a great deal of confusion about the events that night, but after speaking to the boys "it was simply a tragic accident".

Roger Lamb, 47, who had moved to Christchurch about a year ago, died four days later when he apparently jumped from the balcony of the nearby Sofitel Hotel.

Rogerson said any suggestion that there had been tension between the pair was simply not true.

"There was no row in the apartment. The family were happy and excited about the future."

The couple had been discussing the possibility of relocating to New Zealand.

As soon as they found out about Mathilde's death the family flew to Morocco to be with Lamb and the children, he said.

"Roger was in a truly terrible way. He was in a state of deep shock. He was wandering around almost as if he was in a trance.

"He was completely devastated. It was as if his whole life had fallen apart.

"He and Tilly had known each other since they were teenagers and had been married for 20 years. One can only imagine what he was going through."

The couple's four sons were back in Britain, where they were being cared for by relatives.

Lamb moved to Christchurch just under a year ago to work as a geotechnical engineer for engineering firm GHD.

A keen runner, he was a member of the Port Hills Athletics Club.

He was staying with a member of the club after his family returned to England following the February 22 earthquake.


The Algerian authorities’ change of heart regarding their decision not to recognize the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) indicates an emerging civilian power vacuum in el-Mouradia Palace and a de-facto take over by the Military of all matters of government in Algiers.  Experts believe that the Libyan crisis has exposed the “known fact” that the Military Intelligence Agency‘s (Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité or DRS) has been running the Government in Algeria for sometimes now.

With Algeria’s so-called position of “pure neutrality” in the Libyan conflict evaporating, Algeria’s Foreign Minister is trying to save face on the international scene.  Mr. Mourad Medelci recent declaration of Algeria’s pending recognition of the CNT is a far cry from his government official campaign of denouncing “foreign intervention” in Libya and accusing the CNT of harboring members the North African branch of Al-Qaeda (AQIM). Algeria’s sudden change of policy on Libya begs the following questions: Who is in charge in Algiers? Who is making foreign policy decisions within the Algerian government? Is Bouteflika able to mediate between the weak civilians and the powerful DRS leaderships?

Algeria’s “ambiguous” position vis-à-vis the CNT is a by-product of the DRS’s fear of a democratic contagion from Libya and Tunisia affecting the restless Algerian youth. DRS was never a fan of Gaddafi and his unpredictable moods. In fact, Gaddafi and the DRS had fundamental difference on issues such as the Touareg rebellions in Mali, insecurity in the Sahel and the role of Libya in the Sahel.

However, the Algerian authorities decision to give refuge to Gaddafi’s family on “humanitarian grounds” remains the most vivid sign that the civilian face of the Algerian government is fading away under pressure from major and fast moving political and social events in Tunisia, Morocco and Libya. With Major capitals, including Washington and London, asking questions about the direction of the Algerian position on Libya, the DRS was forced to give up its “revolutionary” rhetoric and join the world to welcome the Libyan revolutionary on the international scene.

With President Bouteflika unable to referee between the civilians and the Military establishment, the likes of Mr. Medelci find themselves in the awkward position. Algeria’s arguments for not recognizing the CNT are “offensive.” As an Algerian opponent noticed, it is preposterous for an “unelected Algerian government to ask the current ruler in Tripoli to first ensure that the CNT is supported by the majority of the Libyan people, through the organization of an election.”


MYSTERY continued to grow yesterday over the deaths of a mum and dad in Morocco.

Roger and Mathilde Lamb (Pic: SWNS/PA)



Mathilde “Tilly” Lamb and her husband Roger both plunged to their deaths, days apart, while on holiday with their four sons. There were reports of a loud, “furious argument” before Tilly, 43, fell from the third floor window of their rented holiday flat in Essaouira.

Friends of the Lambs claim the pair had fallen out over plans to sell their home in Penham, Worcs, and emigrate to New Zealand. But Roger’s brother Mark Rogerson said this was wrong according to what one of the boys had said.

Tilly died three days later in hospital. A day later Roger, 47, fell to his death from the second floor balcony of the Sofitel Hotel. Sons Angus, 16, Monty, 15, Henry, 11, and Felix, nine, are being cared for by relatives back in Britain.

Moroccan police said Tilly “stumbled” and the railing “gave way”, but photographs seem to show the window’s base was at waist level and there was a balustrade.

The flat has since been re-let. Its owner Majid Naimi, 24, claimed: “There have never been any safety issues. Something very sinister happened. There had been a furious argument heard by neighbours a few minutes beforehand.”

An inquest into Mrs Lamb’s death will not be held for 15 months.

Inquest hears balcony plunge mum Tilly Lamb died of multiple fractures in Morocco

BRITISH tourist who fell 60ft to her death from an apartment in Morocco suffered head, neck and back fractures, an inquest heard yesterday.

Mum-of-four Mathilde “Tilly” Lamb, 43, of Dinton, Wilts, died the day before her husband Roger also perished in a fall from their hotel balcony.

Moroccan detectives are treating her death as an ­accident. They believe Mr Lamb, 47, committed suicide afterwards.



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