A CRIMINAL gang which carried out violent robberies with fake firearms and posed as Policia Nacional officers has been busted on the Costa del Sol.

Four people, from Spain, Morocco and Italy, were arrested in Mijas for their involvement in 15 house robberies, among other crimes.

The thieves were caught by the Guardia Civil while planning their next attack – the home of a well-known Benalmadena businessman.

In order to avoid being identified, the criminals wore motorbike helmets, hats and hoodies during the attacks, which they carried out in Mijas, Fuengirola, Benalmádena, Marbella and Estepona.

They also stole multiple motorbikes, which they used as getaway vehicles, by contacting sellers advertising second hand bikes online.

Once they met up to exchange the money and keys, the criminals sped off on the bikes and often became very violent.

In two of the robberies, one of the thieves pretended to be a Policia Nacional officer by wearing a t-shirt with the police force logo and by using a false identification badge.

During a house search officials seized simulated fake guns, live ammunition, a car and fake police paraphernalia.

The gang faced charges of robbery, receiving stolen property and impersonating a police officer.

After appearing in front of a judge in a Fuengirola court, two of the leaders were sentenced to prison.

The investigation continues.

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