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spanish raid International criminal gang is taken down as high-end cars, luxury items and firearms seized

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Spanish police raided a number of properties

Spanish police raided a number of properties

Spanish police raided a number of properties

High-end cars, luxury items, firearms and ammunition have all been seized as a money-laundering operation was broken up by Spanish and American law enforcement agencies, backed by Europol. 

Four suspects have been arrested and seven have been charged with criminal offences after the Spanish Civil Guard (Guardia Civil) and the US Drug Enforcement Administration took down an organised crime group that had been laundering money for major South American cartels.

Europol facilitated the information exchange and provided analytical support for the operation that was codenamed Burlero.

It resulted in the seizure of several firearms, which had had the serial numbers filed off, as well as badges belonging to different forces.

The Guardia Civil began to look into the criminal gang, based in Spain, two years ago.

The police suspected them of sending large sums of money to drug cartels in Colombia and Peru, while operating a network of hired killers which operated throughout Spain.

This hitman service involving contract killings, threats and violence targeted at other criminal groups across Spain who were buying drugs from the South American cartels to redistribute them locally.

The investigation identified also a number of ‘front men’ acquiring luxurious goods for the lifestyles of the group’s leaders. This was only a small part of a large money-laundering scheme that traded high-end cars and used 'smurfing techniques' ie money-laundering, to place criminal profits into the financial system.

The detainees include four people, of Spanish, Colombian and Venezuelan nationality, in Madrid. Seven other people have been charged, as well as a company, who acted as guarantors so that the leaders of the gang could acquire properties and assets in Spain.

Guardia Civil also seized jewellery, luxury watches, shoes and clothes, cash and high-end vehicles.

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