Malaga Airport
Steven Allford’s body was discovered at Malaga Airport on Friday 21 October Wiki Commons / Terry Wha

Police in Spain are investigating after a British citizen was found dead at a Spanish airport with a slice of ham on each buttock and his genitals in an open tuna can, say reports.

Police have named the man found dead in strange circumstances as Steven Allford, a 51-year-old British national who also had his hands and feet bound by plastic ties and his trousers pulled down.

Allford's body was discovered by a security guard on a bench at Malaga Airport in an area popular with homeless people between the airport's train station and the terminal building.

Investigators are working to determine if the strategic placing of food on his body was a message sent by criminals or a practical joke by those that discovered the body on Friday, 21 October.

Detectives are awaiting the results of a postmortem but believe he may have been asphyxiated due to choking or throttling. Reports say that clothes found nearby have been taken away for analysis and documents found on a trolley at the airport identified the man.

A Spanish source said to The Sun: "The state in which the body was found had triggered an investigation and we are attempting to find out more about the circumstances. His trousers had been pulled down suggesting a sexual assault or rape may have been attempted after his hands were bound.

"We still have no idea whether he was a tourist who missed a flight or an ex-pat living locally. We have no idea what he was doing there. Foul play is suspected and it is being taken very seriously."

Spanish media reported that the body showed no visible signs of violence with a postmortem examination due to be carried out at Málaga's Institute of Medicine.

According to The Mirror, which reported the grim circumstances around the man's death, the area was cordoned off by police after the discovery while officers examine CCTV and try to determine if Allford had missed a flight leaving the airport.

A Foreign Office spokesperson could not confirm the identity of the victim or where he was from in the UK. She said: "We are in contact with local authorities following reports of the death of a British man in Spain."