By Humphrey Carter PALMA

THE arrest of the Balearic government's Director General for Tourism Promotion, Joan Sastre yesterday not only rocked the local government but also sparked concern in the British travel industry.

Sastre is the second serving high ranking member of the Majorcan Unionist Party to have been arrested within the past 36 hours as part of Operation Vulture - an investigation into alleged corruption in the government's Institute for Tourism Strategy (Inestur).

On Wednesday, the former director of Inestur, member of the UM and the current government Director General for Environmental Quality, Antoni Oliver was arrested as the fraud squad launched its operation and then yesterday, Sastre and another fellow member of the Majorcan Unionist Party, Antoni Rebassa, who is in charge of Inestur's finances, were picked up by the fraud squad. The investigation into the alleged misappropriation of public funds and payment of illegal commissions, was on going last night with a number of offices still being searched by members of the fraud squad and a total of eleven people in custody.

Police sources are not ruling out further arrests over the coming days.
This latest wave of arrests as part of another alleged corruption scandal has serious implications for the coalition government because it involves current political appointees.

What is more, the arrest of Sastre has not gone unnoticed by the British travel industry to which he is well known because of his high profile position at the Ministry for Tourism.