Monday, November 19, 2007

Hechos Probados....The Theft Of The Dynamite

As a result of his agreement with Jamal Ahmidam to provide explosives, Jose Emilio Suárez Trashorras arranged the supply of two shipments of dynamite to Madrid between the 5th and the 9th of January 2004. On the 4th January Trashorras offered €600 to Sergio Alvarez Sánchez to carry a sports bag to Madrid which he would hand over on arrival to a person waiting for him at the bus station. Trashorras bought him a ticket for the journey to be made the following day, and on the morning of the 5th he took Alvarez to the bus station in Oviedo together with the bag he was to transport. On arrival in Madrid Alvarez awaited the arrival of Jamal Ahmidam in the bus station, Ahmidam arrived 30-45 minutes later. Shortly afterwards Alvarez returned to Oviedo by bus. On arrival Trashorras was waiting for him together with Gabriel Montoya Vidal. As payment for the journey Alvarez was given two tablets of hashish, valued by the accused at approximately €700.

The second journey to Madrid was made by Iván Reis Palicio who had a debt with Antonio Toro related to hashish trafficking. Trashorras offered to cancel this debt if Reis would take to Madrid on the 9th January a bag which he was told contained hashish. After further negotiation it was agreed that Trashorras would pay an additional €300. Reis Palicio complied with the agreement and took the bus service to Madrid, he was met in Madrid by Jamal Ahmidam who took the bag. Ahmidam also demanded payment of money, and finding that Reis did not have this he took the latter’s wallet and mobile telephone. Reis Palicio was never paid for the journey, nor did he have his debt with Toro cancelled.

On the 23rd January 2004, Trashorras spoke to Jamal Ahmidam using the telephone of Iván Granados Peña. He also spoke to Raúl González Pelaez and they agreed to meet in a place known as the Mirador de Tineo. Both he and Granados went to this place. Once there, Trashorras disappeared with González during approximately 45 minutes, on return both he and Granados went back to Avilés. During this journey Trashorras asked Granados to transport a bag containing explosives to Madrid, something which Granados refused to do. Trashorras made the same proposal to Gabriel Montoya Vidal who agreed and made the journey by bus at the end of January or during the first few days of February. Montoya handed the bag to Jamal Ahmidam in Madrid and returned to Asturias. The next day Granados informed Montoya Vidal that the explosive the latter had transported had been collected from the mine where he had worked.

The dynamite was removed from the mine taking advantage of the complete absence of control over usage of explosive there. The person in charge of recording such usage, Emilio Llano Alvarez, simply noted the quantity that he was verbally provided with by the miners. Access to detonators was also not controlled as the miners simply hid the keys to the stores under a stone or behind a tree. The difference between the amount really consumed and that received at the mine was left lying in the mine in a place where it could be collected by Trashorras or anyone acting for him. There is no evidence that Llano intervened himself in the extraction of the explosive from the mine.

In February of 2004, Emilio Suárez Trashorras was driving a Toyota Corolla car which had a false number plate fitted. This car had been stolen in Madrid on the 18th September 2003 by unknown persons. The car was given to Trashorras in Madrid by Jamal Ahmidam on the 28th December 2003. It was Trashorras who decided to change the plates on the car once he had returned to Avilés in Asturias. Two or three days before the 28th February 2004 Trashorras drove with this car to the Mina Conchita in the company of Gabriel Montoya Vidal. At the mine, Trashorras got out of the car and spoke to two people wearing blue overalls whilst Montoya waited in the car. Trashorras returned to the car saying “this is done, it’s good”. On the afternoon of the 28th February Trashorras collected Montoya in the same car in the company of Jamal Ahmidam. They were accompanied by another vehicle, a Volkswagen Golf, in which were travelling Mohamed Oulad Akcha and Abdennabi Kounjaa.

Both vehicles were heading towards the mine when Trashorras received a call from his then wife, Carmen Toro. As a result of this call they returned to Avilés, collected some boots which Trashorras gave to Ahmidam and set off once more for the mine. Once at the entrance to the mine, Trashorras and Ahmidam entered the mine whilst Montoya, Kounjaa and Oulad Akcha remained with the cars. After approximately 45 minutes, both men returned and Trashorras reminded Ahmidam to remember to collect some bolts and screws that were nearby. All of them returned to Avilés where Ahmidam and his companions purchased three rucksacks, three sports bags, three torches and two pairs of gloves in a Carrefour supermarket. They then went to Trashorras home in the street of Llano Ponte.

Trashorras remained at home, whilst the other four went once again to the mine where all except Montoya entered the area of the mine itself. Several hours later Ahmidam, Kounjaa and Oulad Akcha returned to the car with all of the bags and rucksacks loaded. Once again they returned to Avilés. At the garage of Trashorras in Avilés they passed all explosives into the Volkswagen Golf, before again setting off for the mine to repeat the same operation. At around midday on the 29th February Ahmidam, Oulad Akcha and Kounjaa began the journey back to Madrid with the explosives they had removed from the mine. Ahmidam drove the Toyota Corolla and the other two men went in the Golf.

Shortly before setting off for Madrid Jamal Ahmidam phoned Otman el Gnaoui telling him they were returning. In the course of this conversation it was agreed that El Gnaoui and other members of the group would meet them on the road connecting Burgos and Madrid, Ahmidam phoned again during the journey to agree the point at which they would meet, which turned out to be the locality of Cogollos in Burgos province. During the journey the vehicle driven by Ahmidam was stopped by a Guardia Civil traffic patrol, Ahmidam showed the officers a false Belgian passport in the name of Youssef Ben Salan and was allowed to proceed after being sanctioned for speeding and not having the vehicle documentation in order.

Footnote: A further demonstration of just how easy the theft of the explosive was from Mina Conchita, and with the added twist of Jamal Ahmidam being stopped by the police whilst transporting it back to Madrid from Asturias. A mine with significant dynamite usage, and virtually no control over consumption or with any security. A perfect place for anyone looking to acquire explosives. The court has not accepted the defence of those who carried bags of dynamite to Madrid, the claim that they did not know what was in the bags has been rejected.

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