On the 26th and 27th of June, 2018, 129 individuals, including leaders, of an organised criminal group in Spain got arrested by the police and the Mossos d’Esquadra. They searched 74 houses in several Spanish cities, capturing €100,000 in cash, as well as non- licensed firearms, bulletproof vests and illicit tobacco. The group was one of the biggest organized crime groups in Europe. Some of the leaders were high-level professional criminals from the former Soviet Union. The group was helped by other international crime rings from Belgium, France, Italy, Lithuania and the United States. The operation was one of he biggest Spanish operations against a prolific organised group in Europe.
The group smuggled the illicit tobacco produced in Ukraine and Poland, transporting it to France, Italy and Spain. It also trafficked drugs and luxury vehicles. Many gang members engaged in sports corruption, bribing approximately 20 tennis, beach volleyball, basketball and ice hockey players in total to arrange match outcomes. In addition, some of the groups executed home burglaries in Alicante and Valencia (Spain), where the gang possessed a clandestine house where pieces of stolen jewellery and gold and silver ingots were manufactured.
Europol supported the investigation from the beginning, in 2016, by providing analytical support and by organising several operational meetings in the last few months. On the action day, four Europol experts from different units supported the police. The information gathered during the operation will be analysed and exchanged in real time and immediately cross-matched against Europol’s databases.
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