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The Civil Guard detained an octogenarian as the alleged perpetrator of four forest fires (11/06/2018)

The arrested man, of British nationality, is allegedly responsible for four forest fires, two of them attempted.

The fires affected the forest area of ​​the protected area called Puerto Mayor

At the time of his arrest, a decanter with five liters of gasoline, matches and numerous lighters has been seized.

The Civil Guard of the Region of Murcia, in collaboration with the Local Police of San Javier, has identified, located and detained the alleged perpetrator of four forest fires, two of them in tentative degree, occurred last summer in the protected area called Puerto Mayor located in La Manga del Mar Menor-San Javier.

The investigation began in July of last year, when the Civil Guard became aware of a forest fire occurred in the protected area called Puerto Mayor, located in La Manga del Mar Menor-San Javier.

Facts of similar characteristics were repeated on August 25 and September 2 and 27.

In all of them, the rapid intervention of several firefighting staffs prevented the devastation of the forest mass, although the one of greater proportions devastated an area of ​​600 square meters.

Two of these fires did not spread, one of them thanks to the inestimable collaboration of several citizens.

In order to clarify their causes and, where appropriate, find evidence of intentionality or negligence and identify those responsible, the Civil Guard gathered the necessary information, which led to the suspicion that it could be a neighbor in the area.

These inquiries led the agents to a British citizen, 78 years old, who apparently resides during the summer season in La Manga del Mar Menor and in winter returns to his country of origin.

La Benemérita kept discreet surveillance devices in the area that have culminated, recently, with the location of the suspect when the forested area was being monitored.

Surprised with a jug of gasoline and matches

At the time of identification they have been found and seized a five-liter jug ​​with gasoline, matches and numerous lighters.

The investigation has ended with the detention of a 78-year-old man, British citizen and with a holiday home in La Manga del Mar Menor-Cartagena, as alleged author of crimes against collective security, related to four intentional forest fires, two of them in degree of attempt.

The arrested, the effects seized and the proceedings ordered have been made available to the Court of Instruction of San Javier (Murcia).

Crime of forest fire

Article 352 of the Penal Code provides that 'those who set fire to forests or forest stands shall be punished by imprisonment from one to five years and a fine of twelve to eighteen months'.

Forest Fire Prevention Plan

The Civil Guard, within the framework of the 'Forest Fire Prevention Plan', recalls that, according to the Forest Fire Regulations approved by Decree 3769/1972, of December 23, as well as the order of May 24, 2010 , of the Ministry of Agriculture and Water, to make a fire in an area classified as forest land must adopt a series of security measures to prevent its spread.

Among these measures appear to form a firewall on the edge of the area that is going to burn at least two meters away from the adjoining land, have extinguishing tools and water reserves in an amount not less than 50 liters , do not abandon the surveillance of the burnt area until the fire is completely extinguished and 12 hours have passed since flames or embers are observed.

Source: Ministerio del Interior

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