Alleged Russian crime boss bailed after Marbella arrests

The Malaga provincial court has released alleged Russian crime boss Arnold Spivakovsky (aka Tamm), on bail of €750,000.

Spivakovsky, who is known to Interpol as one of the leaders of the Solntsevskaya mafia, was arrested as part of Operation Oligarch that saw 11 other Russians taken into custody on suspicion of money laundering and ties to the Solntsevskaya and Izmaylovskaya mafias.

Marbella football club owner Alexander Grinberg and Aguas Sierra de Mijas drinking water bosses Oleg Kuznetsov and Sergey Dozhde were also arrested at the same time.

Spivakovsky, a permanent resident of Russia, was on holiday in Spain.

Earlier this month lawyer Carlos Dominguez appealed against the court ruling, calling the accusations against Spivakovsky groundless and describing its client as “a highly respected top manager repeatedly awarded by the Russian government.”



The Solntsevskaya mafia: Sergey Mikhaylov, Dzhemal Khachidzу; next to them are Arnold Tamm (Spivakovsky), Avera-Starshy, Karatay (Oleg Karataev, killed during a showdown in the US).

The CrimeRussia website reports that Spivakovsky (previous name Tamm) is a crime lord, one of the eight leaders of the Solntsevskaya mafia.

Since the mid-1990s, Spivakovsky has been a businessman and executive officer of several companies. He held posts of deputy director of Irbis Customs Terminal, adviser on public relations of the Secretary of the Union State of Russia and Belarus Pavel Borodin, deputy general director of Pekin Hotel, chairman of Kosmos OJSC GC board of directors, and head of the Intourist board of directors.

Spivakovsky has never been convicted, although repeatedly detained along with other Solntsevo authorities, including accusations of cocaine trafficking in the Moscow club Dolls, as well as the suspicion of his involvement in the murder of Director of Pekin Hotel Konstantin Georgiev (aka Kostya Ossetin).

Marbella FC owner Grinberg was also released on €750,000 bail this month, and has since protested his innocence. "I have never broken the law in my life, neither in Spain or Russia" he told the Spanish media.

Specsavers raise over €6000 for sight charity

Specsavers presented a cheque for over €6000 to ONCE earlier this month.

The company raised €6,107 for the charity Fundación ONCE para la Atención de Personas con Sordoceguera (FOAPS) between July and December 2017.

José Ángel Moral-Tajadura, Retail and Business Development Manager for Specsavers Spain presented a cheque to Marcelo Rosado, ONCE representative for Andalucía, Ceuta and Melilla and José Miguel Luque Gómez, Director of ONCE for the areas of Málaga, Córdoba y Melilla at the ONCE offices in Malaga.

The money raised will fund 407 hours of interpreting for deaf and blind people in Spain in 2018. As well as funds, the campaign raised awareness of the issues that the deaf-blind face and the  work that FOAPS does.

FOAPS’ Director Esther Requena Olea commented “We would like to say thank you for the €6,107 donated by Specsavers Opticas to FOAPS that will fund interpreters to allow them to continue their important work. FOAPS wants to sincerely thank you for your collaboration and hope that we can continue this work in the future, as your support in raising awareness of deaf-blindness and funds for this important cause has been very valuable.”

To find out more about FOAPS visit to find your nearest Specsavers Opticas visit

Weather chaos continues across Spain

With apologies to Game of Thrones, "Winter has Come".

The bad weather that brought much of Spain to a standstill earlier this week is set to continue. Weather warnings remain in place until Thursday for more snow, wind and rain. The bad weather continues to cause chaos across the country, with snowfall affecting flights, road and rail.

Meanwhile amber and yellow weather warnings were issued for the Costa Blanca, Valencia, Barcelona and the Catalan region. Schools remained closed, as thousands of children had another day out of class.

Temperatures are forecast to plummet over the next couple of days, dipping down to -6 in places!

Big Freeze hits Spain

Baby, it's cold outside

Yesterday heavy snowfall affected over 140 roads across parts of Spain, and 70 flights were cancelled at Madrid Barajas airport. Railway lines were also closed as icy conditions affected the high speed rail network.

7000 homes were left without electricity, and nearly 42,000 children had an extra-long weekend when their schools closed.
Weather warnings continue today across most of the country, with freezing temperatures making untreated areas icy, as well as rough sea warnings being issued for the Canary Islands.

Marbella will see temperatures as low as 7c and Spanish Meterological Office AEMET has warned of cold and possible snow showers.  Ronda is on Orange Alert for snow for the next three days, so be prepared for icy conditions on the Ronda road.


OSP - 'Obliterate San Pedro' as palms uprooted

The 'Dubai-ification' of Marbella continues.

The Tenencia de Alcaldia San Pedro Alcantara, under the leadership of Rafael Piña,  pushed forward its plans for the destruction of one of the last green areas in the town.

Early this morning excavators began clearing the land at the entrance to San Pedro's main street. Palms that have stood for decades were dumped onto lorries and moved.

The disgraceful clearance of the site, to make way for a footbridge, waterfall, public toilets and tourist information, comes despite calls for a public consultation for the plan.

Last week there were two demonstrations against the removal of the palms, but Piña and his party have paid no attention to the public outcry and a petition that collected over 1000 signatures, preferring instead to take seven members of his OSP party to FITUR, the international tourist fair. Proving that he has a sense of the absurd, the delegate for parks and gardens was amongst those enjoying the free-flowing food and drink in Madrid.

Also this week the San Pedro association of Small Businesses wrote to Piña angry that yet another public work project was going ahead. Small businesses have been badly hit by the construction of underground parking as well as the pedestrianisation of the main street - which shows a fondness for brutalist granite blocks and stark lamp posts, not to mention the disruption that the San Pedro Boulevard caused.

It seems that the OSP is single-handedly intent on Obliterating San Pedro's unique charm and history and replacing it with brutal granite and concrete. Piña and his party should be ashamed.






Spain turns on Davis Cup magic in Marbella

Spain breezed past Great Britain at the Hotel Puente Romano Tenis Club this afternoon to book a place in the Davis Cup quarterfinals.

Albert Ramos Vinolas won his second rubber of the weekend, seeing off a plucky Cameron Norrie 7-6(4) 2-6 7-6(4) 6-2.

Norrie came through as a five-set winner on Friday but, in just his second competitive match on the red stuff, he didn’t quite have the strength to go toe-to-toe with the world No.21.

Spain will now will face Germany on home soil, or perhaps clay, in April.

It may just be, however,  that Great Britain’s Davis Cup team have found a new star, however. Watch this space when the team return in the World Group play-offs in September.

Marbella was also the winner, once again looking fabulous as the world's tennis media descended on the town and TV broadcast the clash worldwide.

Photo. Davis Cup by BNP Parabis


GB stuns Spain to set up super Saturday

Great Britain's Davis Cup tennis team obviously haven't read the script.

Five-time Davis Cup winners Spain finally got the chance to play in front of their home crowd after eight away ties, hosting Great Britain and clear favourites to reach the last 8. One of the hardest tasks in Davis Cup is to beat Spain on their home soil, which was last time achieved by Brazil in 1999, and Great Britain looked to have little chance of repeating that, coming to Marbella without their superstar Andy Murray.

However, the Davis Cup has a habit of producing upsets  and the tie is leveled at 1-1 after the opening day. Albert Ramos-Vinolas improved his Davis Cup score to 3-2 with a 6-3 6-4 7-6 triumph over Liam Broady in 2 hours and 34 minutes. Broady was unable to produce a surprise but his teammate Cameron Norrie took care of that, stunning Roberto Bautista Agut 4-6 3-6 6-3 6-2 6-2 in 4 hours and 1 minute in his Davis Cup debut. Cameron is currently ranked 114th and has played just eight professional matches on clay!

Bautista Agut has won his last five Davis Cup matches and seemed to be cruising after the opening two sets. Instead of bringing the rubber home, he started to struggle physically and Cameron gave everything he had to stay in touch.

He broke three times in the third set and twice each in the fourth and fifth as Bautista Agut wilted under a Norrie onslaught, with the Briton hitting 60 winners - twice as many as his opponent

As the game wore on the Briton had the upper hand against his opponent who struggled more and more. At the start of the final set Norrie  broke Bautista Agut in games three and seven to deliver an extraordinary victory and keep his country in contention before Saturday's doubles rubber.

After his match, Norrie said: "In the fifth set I went to serve and there was an eruption of noise and I thought, this is an incredible experience. I'm so happy. Best day of my tennis career, 100%.

"I couldn't be happier with my performance today. At the end I just tried to take it point by point and focus on my routines. I was just the better competitor today and that showed. It was an incredible match - I'm going to struggle to sleep tonight for sure."

GB captain Leon Smith said: "At two sets down, you're thinking, just keep fighting, keep pride and passion. It's amazing to see Cam, as a rookie, a debutant, actually wear the opponent down. We've had a lot of good moments in Davis Cup and this is one of them right now.

"I'm almost a bit lost for words. All you ask for is that they give their best effort and fight like hell. Cam fully deserves every bit of praise he gets."

The action continues today as the doubles gets underway at 14.00. With the both sides evenly matched his puts a whole different spin on the tie and potentially Britain are slight favourites. Then going into Sunday, GB's Australian Open hero Kyle Edmund gets an extra day's rest.

Game on!!!



San Pedro Trees for the Chop?

Marbella’s Green heritage is once again under threat

In a move that has dismayed residents, the Tenencia de Alcaldia under the leadership of the OSP’s Rafael Piña Troyano, is pushing ahead with a scheme that will see some of San Pedro oldest palm trees uprooted.

Piña wants to redevelop the area, at the entrance to the town’s now mainly pedestrianised main street, and replace the palms with a waterfall, public toilets, tourism office and a bridge to the boulevard. He states that the area has become run down and is a health hazard due to dog mess.

Opponents to the scheme held a rally on Friday afternoon, arguing that the trees are one of the last few original green areas of San Pedro, and this is only the latest in a series of “redevelopments” that have seen old trees in Marbella cut down and replaced by smaller young trees and granite walkways in a urban plan that seems to want to “Dubaibify” Marbella – replace the town’s unique character with something contemporary and sterile.

Residents were even more alarmed to hear excavators at work this morning, despite a public meeting to debate the scheme due to take place at 6pm this evening. The work has since stopped after an outcry on Social Media.

With the future of one of the last remaining, historical Green areas in Marbella hanging in the balance, perhaps Piña should rename his party OHESP – “Obliterate History & Environment San Pedro”

BREAKING NEWS. Rebecca Muldoon's husband jailed on European Arrest Warrant

Paul Muldoon, the husband of missing Marbella mum Rebecca, is behind bars for the second time in 15 days.

Muldoon is wanted by the British authorities for financial crime, and was picked up on a European Arrest Warrant last night.

He was arrested on January 1 on suspicion of domestic violence against Rebecca, but after she failed to show to press charges the following day, Paul Muldoon was released on January 3.

Rebecca went missing on January 2 and has not used her mobile or withdrawn cash, and did not take her passport.

A woman's body was discovered on the beach on Sunday and police are waiting for final DNA tests before publicly identifying her.

Paul Muldoon was arrested last night and British authorities have requested his extradition.

BREAKING NEWS. Marbella body - First autopsy rules out violence

The body that was found on a Marbella beach yesterday showed no signs of gender violence.

The autopsy on the woman, aged between 35-40, is taking place in Granada, and the preliminary reports have ruled out gender violence as the cause of death.

The body is widely thought to be that of Rebecca Muldoon, the 35-year-old British mother of two, (pictured) who went missing on January 2.

Antonio Sanz, the government delegate in Andalucia, commented the authorities would wait for further autopsy and DNA tests to fully confirm the identity of the woman, whose body was found in front of the Oasis Club on Marbella's Golden Mile.