Nine farmers arrested in Spain’s Almeria after they set fire to a warehouse with 25 workers inside in protest at their fruit imports from Morocco

SPAIN’S Policia Nacional has arrested nine farmers in Spain’s Almeria province, after they allegedly set fire to an agriculture warehouse despite knowing that there were workers inside.

The suspects had met each other on online forums, and decided to launch their hugely dangerous attack in El Ejido because the company they were targeting was importing fruit and vegetables from Morocco, in competition with domestic producers.

Police investigators managed to identify the suspects via online chat rooms that were linked to the protests staged by farmers earlier this year. 

Agricultural workers all over Spain took to the roads in their tractors in February to demonstrate against European Union policies that they claim are allowing foreign growers to undercut them. 

Read more: Farmer strikes enter third week in Spain: Andalucia, Catalunya and the Balearics are among the targets for tractor road blocks

The incident took place at around 7.30pm on February 8. Security footage from the warehouse shows how the men approached the building with their faces covered by caps and masks, before setting fire to gasoline, tyres and a mattress that they had brought with them. 

One of the 25 workers who was inside the warehouse at the time saw what was happening and tried to bring down the metal shutters, but the door only half closed and the building was soon filling up with a thick black smoke, according to a report in Spanish daily El Pais

The workers inside the warehouse were able to get out of the building via a separate exit. 

The suspects escaped first on foot and then in vehicles with their lights turned off to avoid detection in the dark. 

“It could have been a tragedy,” police sources told the newspaper. 

Emergency crews who were called to the scene managed to extinguish the fire, but damage costing upwards of €26,000 was caused. 

The men were arrested on April 13 and face charges of aggravated arson. They were later brought before the courts, who granted them provisional release. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *