Police in Spain baffled over ‘Se7en’ style double murder

Police in Valencia are investigating a gruesome double murder of two elderly siblings whose bodies were found decomposing in a room full of hanging air fresheners in a copycat scene from the thriller 'Se7en'.

Police in Spain baffled over 'Se7en' style double murder
The siblings were found in a room filled with car air fresheners. Photo: Screenshot from the film Seven.

Juan Carlos Oliva Bellido, 79 and his sister Araceli, 75, were found in a room in their flat after neighbours complained of a rotten stench permeating the apartment building in the eastern city.

Police entered the flat, where the pair had lived for decades, to discover that the two siblings had most likely been dead for at least a month.

They were found in a room filled with hanging car air fresheners in a scene detectives described as resembling that of the Hollywood blockbuster ‘Seven’ starring Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman. 

The bodies were found bound in ropes then wrapped within sleeping bags filled with cat litter, a move police believe was designed to delay the smell of the decomposing corpses from reaching outside the walls.

A post-mortem conducted on Tuesday revealed that both had been strangled.

There was no sign of a break-in at the apartment and the doors had been locked.

One neighbour first reported the waft of something unpleasant in early May, but it wasn’t until temperatures soared over the last week that stench became unbearable.

Neighbours told local newspaper Levante that the siblings “were thought to have been visiting their ancestral village”.

One neighbour reported seeing an unknown man leaving the siblings’ apartment in early May “who said that Juan Carlos and Araceli would be away for some time out of town visiting family”.

Detectives are trying to trace the whereabouts of a man who had cared for the pair after the brother was convalescing from a recent operation but who has now disappeared.




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Spain busts gang running carbon tax fraud

Spanish police on Tuesday announced they had broken up a criminal gang running a multi-million-euro fraud that dodged import and carbon taxes on the sale of refrigerated greenhouse gases.

Spain busts gang running carbon tax fraud

In a series of raids, police arrested 27 suspects and seized 110 tonnes of different kinds of gas worth €11 million.

The gang specialised in the “illegal traffic in greenhouse gas refrigerants” that damage the ozone layer, said a police spokesman.

The gang brought the gases in from China at the port of Valencia on Spain’s east coast, passing it off as being intended for other destinations such as Jordan, said the statement.

In fact, the refrigerant gases stayed in Spain and were sold in various regions across the country.

The gang exploited the fact that European businesses have the right to transit goods imported from non-EU countries through EU territory — where they are intended for a third country — without having to pay customs duties.

They set up a ghost company in Portugal that was the fictional recipient of the gases from Spain, in case customs agents inspected their goods, said the police statement.

The gas was in fact being sold on the black market in Spain at about three times less than the normal market price.

The gang had got out of paying import duty and paying the tax applied to the European market for carbon quotas, as well as a Spanish tax on greenhouse gas refrigerants.

Spain’s treasury estimates that the fraud cost the taxpayer €3.5 million in tax revenue.