SPANISH cops have begun a raid on properties in Marbella and Puerto Banus belonging to the family of Syrian president Bashar Al-Asad.
It comes after judge Jose de la Mata launched the operation for alleged crimes of money laundering committed by a criminal organisation.
Some 15 properties in Marbella and Puerto Banus are to be raided while the accounts of 16 people have been frozen.
A total of 76 companies have also had their accounts frozen.
Some €300 million is believed to have been looted from Syria’s coffers by Rifaat El Asad, the uncle of the current president of Syria, when he was exiled in the 1980s.
Rifaat and his relatives are believed to have used some of the funds to buy around 503 properties, including garages, holiday homes, luxury hotel apartments, country estates and more.
Almost all of the properties are said to be in the Marbella and Puerto Banus area.
This includes a farm called La Maquina, worth €60 million and more than 3,000 hectares large, it occupies a third of the town of Benahavis.
The total market value of all the family’s properties in Spain is reported to be a whopping €691 million.
The police operation, named SCAR, is being carried out by the Anti-Organized Crime Team of the Malaga Commandant under the Central Operative Unit.
There have yet to be any arrests, but investigators have been keeping track of the family and counting up their properties for months.
Rifaat’s brother expelled him from Syria in the 80s because he feared he was organising a political coup.
There is evidence to suggest Rifaat made off with €300 million before moving to France to invest in real estate.
French authorities concluded that the properties bought up in France, Curacao, Lichenstein and Luxembourg were purchased from embezzlement of public funds and to the detriment of the Syrian state.
Rifaat moved on from France to the Costa del Sol, where he began buying up assets in and around Marbella.
Just last year, French courts charged him with a cover-up of public money diversion, money laundering and involvement with organised crime.
- Fake goods costing Spain and EU billions each year - 15 Jun, 2019 @ 08:38
- Brothers cuffed after trying to stuff 11 champagne bottles down one of their tops in huge shoplifting FAIL on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 14 Jun, 2019 @ 17:22
- British tourists still flocking to Spain’s Malaga as first quarter of 2019 shows almost 10% increase in hotel stays - 14 Jun, 2019 @ 17:04
- 8 things you didn’t know were ILLEGAL to do at the beach on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 14 Jun, 2019 @ 12:29
- Young paedo groomed at least 10 children across Spain’s Alicante, Andalucia and Valencia and paid them for explicit images while posing as underage girl online - 14 Jun, 2019 @ 11:26
- BREAKING: Barack Obama will be in Marbella TOMORROW for secret meeting at luxury hotel - 13 Jun, 2019 @ 16:50
- IN PICS: Game of Thrones stars party it up in Spain’s Benidorm for Sophie Turner’s hen do ahead of ‘official’ marriage to Joe Jonas - 13 Jun, 2019 @ 16:20
- Gibraltar police fuming after rumours ‘falsely claim’ drunk off duty officer started late night brawl at Pig & Whistle pub - 13 Jun, 2019 @ 15:45
- How a gang sold more than €1.5 million of drugs EVERY WEEK with the help of a Breaking Bad-style family in Cadiz – and how they spent it on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 13 Jun, 2019 @ 15:13
- Homes sealed off after explosion shatters windows more than 50 metres away on Spain’s Costa del Sol - 13 Jun, 2019 @ 11:35