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MADRID

Spanish police seize 4 million fake medical-grade masks

Spanish police on Wednesday February 17th said they had seized around four million counterfeit medical-grade face masks at a hotel during a raid on a gathering that violated virus restrictions.

Spanish police seize 4 million fake medical-grade masks
Image: leo2014/Pixabay

Officers found the masks inside cardboard boxes on the ground floor and in the warehouse of the hotel in Leganes on Madrid’s southern outskirts, police said in a statement.

The boxes were “ready to be transported” and marked as containing high-protection KN95 and FFP2 face masks, it said.

In addition, police found a printer that was capable of printing masks with the so-called CE mark, reflecting conformity to European standards.

“The material which was seized leads investigators to believe that non-approved masks were being put through a (CE-mark) printing process so they could be put on the market as certified masks,” the statement said.

Police searched the hotel after being notified of a gathering of 48 youths that violated restrictions regarding the number of people allowed to meet up.

Officers detained the hotel manager on suspicion of falsification of documents.

Spain has been hard-hit by the pandemic, recording nearly 66,000 deaths from just over three million cases so far.

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OFFBEAT

Madrid police end escaped camels’ night on the town

Eight camels and a llama took to the streets of Madrid overnight after escaping from a nearby circus, Spanish police said on Friday.

A camel in a zoo
A file photo of a camel in a zoo. Photo: ATTILA KISBENEDEK / AFP

It was not immediately clear how the long-legged runaways managed to get out but Quiros Circus, which owns them, blamed sabotage by animal rights activists.

They were spotted at around 5:00 am wandering around the southern district of Carabranchel close to where the circus is currently based.

“Various camels and a llama escaped from a circus in Madrid overnight,” Spain’s national police wrote on Twitter, sharing images of eight two-humped camels and a llama hanging around a street corner.

“Police found them and took care of them so they could be taken back safe and sound,” they tweeted.

There was no word on whether the rogue revellers, who are known for spitting, put up any resistance when the police moved in to detain them.

Mati Munoz, one of the circus’ managers, expressed relief the furry fugitives — Bactrian camels who have two humps and thick shaggy coats – had been safely caught.

“Nothing happened, thank God,” he told AFP, saying the circus had filed a complaint after discovering the electric fence around the animals’ enclosure had been cut.

“We think (their escape) was due to an act of sabotage by animal rights groups who protest every year.”

Bactrian camels (camelus bactrianus) come from the rocky deserts of central and eastern Asia and have an extraordinary ability to survive in extreme conditions.

These days, the vast majority of them are domesticated.

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