POLICIA Nacional have recovered over three million items of COVID-19 protection material in the largest theft of its kind in Spain.

The items were discovered after a tip off, sat in a warehouse in the Madrid town of Fuenlabrada ready to be resold on the black market.

The loot contained over 40 pallets of surgical gloves and masks, a valuable commodity during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic.

In total, 2.4 million pairs of gloves were taken, along with 800,000 surgical masks and 100,000 FFP2 masks, amounting to a total value of €700,000.

The pallets were stolen from a warehouse in the centre of Madrid back in August as they awaited distribution.

They were loaded into a large lorry under the cover of darkness and transferred to a neighbouring warehouse south of the city centre, where according to police reports, orders had already been taken by ‘legitimate businesses’, to purchase the stolen items.

The Policia Nacional raided the warehouse after a tip off following a lengthy investigation into the theft and arrested a total of five men in connection to the crime.

During the raid, stolen televisions and cold meats were also discovered in the storage facility waiting to be resold.

The investigation remains open as it is believed the men were working under the guidance of a criminal gang therefore further arrests have not been ruled out.

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