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Corruption at Malaga airport

Seventeen Civil Guard members will be judged next January in the Provincial Court of Malaga because of alleged illegal charges to passengers at Malaga airport, in exchange for speeding up or avoiding customs procedures regarding passenger luggage. The jury trial will be transferred to January 13th, 2014 after the Third Section of the Court of Malaga declared itself unqualified to hold their trial.

News agency Efe had access to the indictment, which states that the Malaga prosecutor has asked for the temporary suspension of the seventeen Civil Guard members on bribery charges. More charges might be added in some cases, because the bribery was ongoing and also, because of omission of their duty to prosecute crime.

The prosecutor has asked for a three year and nine-month suspension of duty and public office and to have them pay a fine between 30 and 600 euros. In the same indictment, an Asian citizen is also accused of bribery because he had allegedly bribed some of the Civil Guard members to bring food into Spain. The Civil Guard members, part of the taxi section, were asking for money, either directly or indirectly to certain passengers from incoming flights. They threatened passengers carrying food items through Spanish customs. The prosecutor pointed out the fact that Chinese travellers were advised by their friends and family members to have a 50 euro note handy when arriving so as to “avoid problems with Civil Guard upon arrival at Malaga airport”.

The accused were arrested February 12th, 2006 and, during the investigation it was discovered that some of the agents were allowing, allegedly, entry of some food items into Spanish territory that are forbidden due to security laws, due to the danger of transfer of avian flu and foot and mouth disease. Some of the agents also, allegedly demanded money from a couple bringing foods to their daughter from Norway, even though the laws did not apply to foods transferred from their country.

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