Spanish police make raids to halt Catalan independence vote

A Spanish judge has ordered police to search a printer's shop and two offices of a regional newspaper in Catalonia as part of an investigation into alleged preparations for an illegal referendum on independence for the prosperous northeastern region.

A Barcelona-based court said Saturday that the police searches took place in the towns of Valls and Constanti in southern Catalonia. The court said the searches formed part of an investigation into possible disobedience, prevarication and the embezzlement of public funds by Catalan officials.

The regional Catalan newspaper El Vallenc reported that "4 agents of the Civil Guard entered our newspaper."

El Vallenc said "the search took place hours after they had searched the Indugraf business." Indugraf is a printer in Constanti.