The Grande Europa was on fire in mid-May near to Cabrera. | Salvamento Marítimo (Coastguard)

Officers from the Guardia Civil's criminal police in Palma went to Valencia on Friday and placed various individuals under arrest in connection with last month's fire on the Grande Europa cargo ship.

There were two separate fires on the ship. The alert to the Coastguard in the Balearics was raised 28 miles off Cabrera. The Guardia Civil, Palma Fire Brigade and an army ship went to the aid of the 25 crew, some of whom were lifted off by helicopter; the captain and others remained while the fires were being tackled.

A significant operation was therefore necessary to save lives and a cargo of 1,843 cars. Initially it was thought that the cause was a car battery that had short-circuited, but investigations have pointed to the fact that the fires were deliberate.

The arrested individuals have been brought to Palma. They are said to be the captain and two other ship's officers.