Barcelona hotel ‘murder’: French lover arrested

The boyfriend of a 19-year-old French tourist found dead in a Barcelona hotel room has been arrested on suspicion of homicide.

Barcelona hotel 'murder': French lover arrested
Catalan police have not ruled out any hypotheses in the case but the woman's boyfriend was named as the chief suspect after he fled to France. Photo: Josep Lago/AFP

The 24-year-old boyfriend, identified by police in Catalonia as the principal suspect in the case, has been arrested by French police, Catalan daily La Vanguardia reported.

His detention came after the body of the young French tourist was found at 12.30pm on Sunday by staff at Barcelona's Hotel Olivia Plaza. She was face down and covered in a bloody sheet. Her body displayed knife wounds.  

A note was found and is currently being analyzed by investigators.

Catalan police have not ruled out any hypotheses in the case but the woman's boyfriend was named as the chief suspect after he fled to France.

The couple are thought to have travelled to Barcelona for the weekend, sources said.

Both the young woman and the young man had been reported missing by their families, with the families stressing the fragile psychological state of the woman.

She was depressed and had suicidal tendencies, the 19-year-old's family told police when filing a missing person's report.

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Spain seizes first underwater drug smuggling drones

Spanish police said on Monday they had seized six underwater drones capable of transporting large quantities of drugs from Morocco to Spain and broken up a gang suspected of manufacturing them.

Spain seizes first underwater drug smuggling drones

Officers seized six of the so-called “drone submarines” and arrested eight people in raids carried out in Barcelona and the southern provinces of Málaga and Cádiz, a police statement said.

Police said it was the first time they had seized such devices, which are officially known as unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs).

They believe the gang made underwater drones “capable of bearing big loads” for use by other criminal organisations.

“These devices could allow drug traffickers to transport large quantities of narcotics remotely across the Strait of Gibraltar,” the statement said.

The drones had up to 12 motors each and a range of 30 kilometres (18 miles).

That is easily enough to manage an underwater crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar separating Spain from Morocco which measures just 15 kilometres (nine miles).

Three of the drones were due to be delivered to a French drug ring to “transport significant amounts of cocaine”, the statement said.

The gang also built false bottoms into vehicles to allow gangs to smuggle drugs, as well as “unmanned semi-submersible vessels” that could carry up to 200 kilogrammes (440 pounds) of product.

Their customers included criminal gangs in Denmark, France, Italy and Spain, police said.

Spain’s physical proximity to Morocco, a major hashish producer, and its close ties with former colonies in Latin America, a major cocaine producing region, have made it a key entry point for drugs bound for Europe.