A 32-year-old Spanish surfer has reportedly been shot dead in the Philippines during a police drugs bust over 10 grammes of cocaine.
Diego Bello Lafuente, who was a keen surfer and footballer, was apparently killed during a police raid on the Philippine island of Siargao where he lived for two years, according to the local authorities.
The Philippine police said the Spaniard was a drug dealer who was carrying 10 grammes of cocaine (0.4 ounces) on his person along with 30,000 PHP (453 GBP) in marked banknotes.
Police spokesperson Reynel Serrano claimed the Spaniard opened fire first and was subsequently shot “in self-defence”.
Captain Wise Vicente Panuelos said: “It happened shortly after the exchange of money for the cocaine, he saw the officers approaching him and pulled out a 45-caliber gun and started shooting at us.”
The Spanish Embassy in the Philippines has confirmed it is collecting information about the case while Spanish media said the young man did not have any criminal records.
He had been living in Siargao for two years where he ran several small tourist ventures, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Bello Lafuente’s family have told Spanish media that he would never have got himself mixed up with drug trafficking and are convinced of his innocence.
In the recent past, human rights groups have accused the Philippine authorities of creating evidence to justify tough measures in their war against drugs that began three years under President Rodrigo Duterte.
Reports said that the Spanish victim played football as a youth for Deportivo de la Coruna, and the club posted a message of condolence with a photo of him wearing the shirt.