A GROUP of 106 people have been arrested in a joint operation between Spanish and Italian police for allegedly laundering millions for mafia gangs.
Spanish police said members of the organisation, which often used violence to intimidate victims and extort money from businesses and individuals, had penetrated various Spanish banks and law firms.
Italy’s police force said the suspects tricked their victims, who were also mostly Italian, into sending large sums to Spanish bank accounts controlled by the group.
According to Europol, the gang made around €10 million profit through online scams.
The cash was then laundered through cryptocurrency purchases or reinvested in other criminal activities like prostitution, narcotics or arms trafficking.
Most of the suspected members were Italian nationals and the majority of the arrests took place on Tenerife.
During the operation, Spanish and Italian officers froze 118 bank accounts and seized 224 credit cards and a marijuana plantation.
Twenty of those arrested were sent to jail pending the judicial investigation, 18 in Spain and two in Italy.