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CRIME

Spain’s ‘pipe baby’ freed after 40 hours in drain

A Spanish woman has been arrested for attempted murder after her two-day old baby was discovered inside a building's drains in Alicante and painstakingly rescued by firefighters, police said on Sunday.

Spain's 'pipe baby' freed after 40 hours in drain
The Alicante woman said she did not want the baby, but could not afford an abortion, police said. File photo: Les Haines/Flickr

"A neighbour alerted the fire service that they could hear meowing coming from a waste water pipe, thinking that it was a cat that had become trapped," police in Alicante, eastern Spain, said in a statement.

However the firefighters and police discovered instead "the cries of a new born-baby and immediately proceeded to dislodge and save the child…who still had the umbilical cord attached" and was wrapped in plastic bags, the police said.

The baby, a boy weighing 2.1 kilograms (four pounds 10 ounces), was taken to a local hospital in serious condition, "with a fractured forearm and other injuries, but his life is not in danger," the statement said.

It is believed that the child was trapped in the pipe for 40 hours.

After saving the boy, police arrested a 26-year-old woman, who lives in the building, for attempted murder.

She had been admitted to hospital "after saying that she had carried out an abortion at home", police said.

The woman said she did not want the baby, but could not afford an abortion, police added.

Police are also investigating whether a third person may have been involved.

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CRIME

Spanish police seize 4.5 tonnes of cocaine off Canaries

Spanish police announced on Saturday the seizure of 4.5 tonnes of cocaine aboard a Togolese-flagged cargo ship from Latin America which was intercepted off the Canary Islands.

Spanish police seize 4.5 tonnes of cocaine off Canaries

The “Orion V”, which transported cattle from Latin America to the Middle East, had been under surveillance for over two years and had previously been “checked and searched, but no drugs could be found inside, despite the presence of sufficient clues”, police said.

A joint naval and air operation finally made the breakthrough locating the cocaine on Tuesday, hidden in a container used to feed the cattle.

The operation mobilised among others the American Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), the Maritime Analysis and Operations Centre for narcotics (MAOC-N), the Togolese authorities and the Spanish police.

The 28 crew members from nine countries were arrested.

The “Orion V” was similar to another Togolese-flagged vessel, the “Blume”, which was intercepted in mid-January in the same area south-east of the Canary Islands, on which the same amount of cocaine was found.

A total of nine tonnes of drugs have been seized in January, police said in a statement.

Spain’s proximity to North Africa, a key source of hashish, and its close ties with former colonies in Latin America, the world’s main cocaine-producing region, have made it a gateway into Europe for drugs.

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