SIXTY-EIGHT people, including 10 in Spain, have been arrested for a series of Fast and Furious-style heists from moving lorries.

The Romanian gang are suspected of stealing from moving lorries whose drivers remained oblivious to the crime.

Police say the criminals specialised in the high-speed crimes that targeted lorries on motorways across Europe and netted €10 million worth of cargo. In scenes that could have come straight from a movie screen, each crime was carefully planned.

Gang members worked in teams of four cars. The lead vehicle would start to drive slowly in front of the lorry while two other cars held up following traffic.

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HIGH SPEED: Romanian gang has been compared to Fast & Furious films starring Vin Diesel. Credit: Universal Pictures.

A fourth car would then drive up close behind the lorry. One of the criminals would climb out of the car’s sunroof onto the bonnet and break open the lock on the lorry with an angle grinder.

The valuable cargo would then either be transferred to their vehicle, or thrown on the side of the road to be picked up later. The driver of the lorry and other road-users were often completely unaware of what was going on.

An unprecedented law enforcement operation involving five countries was launched in 2016. Code-named ‘ARROW’, it was coordinated by Europol.

The latest phase of the operation resulted in the arrest of 37 members of the highly professional criminal syndicate in Romania.

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COOPERATION: Europol led the investigation.

Seventy-three house searches were carried out in the early hours of yesterday morning (March 10) by the Romanian National Police and the French National Gendarmerie with the support of Europol on-the-ground.

Earlier this year 10 suspects were arrested in Spain, 10 in France, six in the Netherlands and five in Sweden.

European arrest warrants have been issued for the remaining members at large.

Fast and Furious is an American media franchise centred on a series of action films starring Vin Diesel that are largely concerned with illegal street racing, heists and spies.

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